Help Save the World’s Shark Populations with WildAid

Slaughtered sharks on the shore.

Dan Holz / Tandemstock

S.O.S. = Save Our Sharks
Due to threats like shark finning, shark culls and accidental bycatch, sharks need our help now, more than ever. WildAid informs the public and helps promote sensible action.

Mission: Saving the world’s shark populations by building awareness, education and action
HQ: San Francisco
Year Founded: 2007; merged with WildAid in 2014
Contact: wildaid.org
Project: Shark Savers works to reduce the demand for shark fins and to increase the scope and regulation of shark sanctuaries worldwide. “Sharks play a critical role in marine ecosystems as the top predators that keep populations of other species in balance,” says Marcel Bigue, WildAid’s marine program director. “The health of our oceans depends on them.”

In search of a worthy cause? Here’s how you can help.

1. SAY NO TO FINS
Shark finning kills roughly 73 million sharks each year and is rapidly driving many species toward extinction, but you can help stop that. Join Shark Savers’ movement, I’m FINished with FINs, by signing an online pledge to not consume shark fin under any circumstances. But don’t let your involvement end with a signature: Talk to legislators about banning the practice, and locate restaurants in your community that have shark on the menu. Sparking conversation is the first step in fighting the problem.

2. DIVE FOR SCIENCE
Even if biology wasn’t exactly your best subject in school — we’re not judging — Shark Savers wants you to join the front lines with its SharksCount program. Divers of all skill levels are given tools to count and identify the sharks they see underwater. The data collected is added to an online database to help provide essential information about local shark population trends, and your dives help promote sustainable shark eco-tourism. Email sharkscount@sharksavers.org and specify where you dive most often.

3. HELP SANCTUARIES
The Shark Sanctuary Program supports local initiatives to protect sharks around the globe. “Marine protection areas, particularly those in the developing world, are dependent upon the support and expertise of groups like WildAid to safeguard their natural treasures,” says Bigue. Donate at wildaid.org, and contribute to expanding and safeguarding these areas. You can also increase awareness of the importance of marine sanctuaries in your community by using educational resources available on Shark Saver’s site.

Looking for more ways to help? Here are 30 Things You Can Do For The Marine Environment

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