Age: 7 Currently lives in: CanadaFavorite Shark: The great White Shark is my favourite shark because I like the way it breaches into the air to catch its prey. It is very powerful and graceful at the same time. My dream is to go to South Africa to see the Great Whites breach for seals at Seal island.
What would you tell people about sharks? I think it’s important for people to know that sharks are beautiful creatures and are not the man eaters that tv and movies make them out to be. I have learned through books that 100 million sharks are killed every year. Sharks are important because they are part of our ecosystem and 70% of our oxygen comes from the ocean where they live. If we keep killing sharks, it will upset the balance of life in our oceans.
How did sharks draw you into their watery world?I saw my first shark when I was in Hawaii, I spotted it off the side of the boat when no one else did. Days after that “Shark Week” on Discovery began and I was hooked!!! Stuffed animals, books, models, puppets, dvd’s, posters calendars, costumes…you name it and it was on my birthday list. My friends had pictures of singers, movie stars and athletes on their walls, I had pictures of Rob Stewart, Chris Fallows and sharks. I worked hard to become the expert on all things sharks. I began to teach the rest of my family about sharks as well as my friends at school. My real passion for saving sharks began when I received Rob Stewart’s book, “Shark Water” from my parents for my birthday. I quickly realized the danger they were in and started to think of ways that I might be able to make a difference.
How do I save sharks?When my dad was driving me to school one day last year, we heard on the news how Rob Stewart and a group of people were trying to ban the sale and consumption of shark fins in Toronto and I knew this was my chance to make a difference. My dad found the petition for me on line and that is when it all began. I walked around my neighbourhood knocking on doors and explaining the danger sharks are in and asking them to sign my petition. I took my petition everywhere with me, soccer games, family gatherings, school, friends neighbourhoods, everywhere I went, my petition went with me. I also asked my family to help me gather signatures. My parents and my aunt helped me by taking the petition to their work. With every ones help I was able to gather over 1,200 signatures. When my dad called the people at Toronto City Hall to tell them I was ready to hand in my petition they asked me to come to city hall to hand it in myself at a big meeting they were having to talk about shark fins. I got to meet Rob Stewart and give him my petition which was really exciting. I also got to hear a lot of people speak about sharks and the danger they are in. In October I was asked to go back to city hall to make a speech to the city council about why I thought it was important to ban the sale and consumption of shark fins in Toronto. It was a very exciting day for me. I will never forget the day I heard on the radio that the city council had voted and passed the ban on shark fins. I couldn’t believe that something I had done had actually made a difference in the world!
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Sharks kill fewer than 4 humans on average each year, while humans kill an estimated 100 million sharks annually.
Sharks have been honed to perfection, having existed on this planet for over 400 million years.
Sharks play a vital role at the top of the food chain by maintaining balance in the oceans.
* An estimated 73 million sharks are killed each year (that works out to more than 10,000 sharks per hour).
Shark fins are tasteless, and may contain high levels of toxic methyl-mercury.
Only a small number of countries have banned finning - many more need to be encouraged to enact legislation.
Many people assume that because they don’t eat shark fin soup – then they can’t possibly be contributing to the demise of the sharks and rays.
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