12 days and counting until European Shark Week! And what a great week it’s shaping up to be. Shark supporters in fifteen European countries are coming together to show their support for sharks and to ask for more protection. We already know about events in Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Malta, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK. With every day more people are getting involved.
From predator to prey
It often surprises people to hear about the threats to sharks – everyone thinks of them as large ocean predators, but the statistics paint a far more vulnerable picture. Tens of millions of sharks and closely related rays are killed each year in fisheries, either intentionally or as bycatch. Too often their populations are being fished faster than they can reproduce.
It doesn’t need to be like this
This year the European Commission adopted a Shark Plan which sets the stage for vast improvements in EU shark policies, including strengthening the weak finning ban. Its success depends on collaboration and action by EU Fisheries Ministers and the European Commission to follow through on the Plan’s initiatives and truly safeguard sharks.
From signing the petition, to entering the colouring competition to attending or hosting an event of your own, European Shark Week offers the chance for people of all ages, all over Europe to get involved and show that we really do need and want to protect sharks. If you live in Spain, you can celebrate European Shark Week on board the Ecologists en Acción’s sailing boat, “Diosa Maat”, at different ports around Spain with talks, films and other activities. If you live in Italy you can join special guided tours of the aquarium and shark tanks in Milan. Or if you’re in Finland the Sealife Centre has many events planning including a talk by Shark Alliance policy director Sonja Fordham. There are exhibitions underway in Italy, France and Sweden and a whole host of other activities and events that you can check out at www.europeansharkweek.org