Even thinking beyond the horrors of potential climate change, there are plastics and debris that consistently harm coral reefs, trap and poison animals and plants, and runoff that shelter underwater life from needed sunlight.
Shark populations have declined 90% in the past 10 years, but since these animals don't remain in one region or country, it is far more difficult for them to get the protection they need. The horrible process of shark finning continues to drive shark populations down, and the more coveted large specimens do not have the ability to reproduce quickly enough to recover.
So, here is where I come in: from now until the end of the year, every crochet animal purchased, I will send the proceeds on to Project AWARE. I also urge each and every person to sign their petition at right urging our world to better protect these species.
Some gains have already been made, here are some notable ones:
A Minnesota native is working in Mexico to turn blooming populations of invasive lionfish into food instead of the Caribbean's most destructive force.
Crews and teams work in the oceans to remove debris from humans.
Florida passed legislation on November 18 to ban any fishing of Tiger Sharks and Hammerhead Sharks.
On October 7, California banned the practice of shark finning in total. Oregon, Washington, and Hawaii have similar bans. They were joined on October 25 by Canadians in Toronto.
But it is not enough.
Shark finning is one of the nastiest and most vile processes I have ever heard of: The shark is caught, its fins are sliced off, and the shark is thrown back into the water while it is still alive. Many sharks (depending on the species) cannot breathe without swimming and suffocate. Others are left for days or weeks without the ability to hunt or eat and eventually starve.
To see a little more of what shark finning looks like, check out this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zep7B1esW-M
I was going to link a video that actively showed sharks being finned, but it made me so upset, I cried. If you'd like to see that one, it's called "What Shark Finning Looks Like" by the DiscoveryNetworks. I didn't even make it halfway through the video.
So, to increase conservation and protection, I am taking a stand, and I am urging anyone to take it with me. Please sign the petition urging the governments and legislators of the world to help conserve shark populations and save our oceans.
For more information, please visit: http://www.projectaware.org