On Saving Sharks

Brettney Marshall is the daughter of WWC student Stephanie Marshall and the Billboard's youth correspondent.
Brettney Marshall is the daughter of WWC student Stephanie Marshall and the Billboard’s youth correspondent.

I’m not happy at all. Do you want to know why? I’m not happy because as you read this article, sharks around the world are dying needlessly for their fins. Shark populations are dropping due to shark finning. Sharks are hunted and killed just so their fins can be used in soup! Sharks are often caught and their fins are cut off while they’re still alive and then their bodies are thrown back into the ocean. It infuriates me that the sharks die so horribly. The pain they must experience makes me sad.

Shark finning isn’t even the half of it. I’m also very sad about ocean pollution. When I went to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History I saw examples of pollution that were simply awful. I saw a picture of a bird that had died from eating lots of plastic that remained in its stomach. I even saw that a dolphin died from swallowing a plastic bottle cap. Sharks can be harmed by these things as well and if their prey dies from pollution then they lose their food source. Overfishing also puts sharks at risk of dying. Fishing too much in one spot or of one species eliminates the sharks’ prey. Sharks may also become tangled in nets not meant for them and die.

These are the kinds of things that create endangered species. Right now, the Great White Shark is at risk of becoming extinct in the wild. We can easily help the sharks. We can reduce the amount of plastic we use and recycle what we do use so it doesn’t end up in our oceans. We can donate money, even small amounts, to wildlife conservation projects. We can also make sure we buy seafood from companies that fish responsibly. With Earth Day coming up, please consider doing something to help the sharks and our oceans.

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