“Every Fin Counts!” is the slogan for the first European Shark Week, taking place in various aquariums throughout Spain from the October 8th to 14th. Organised by Oceana and the Shark Alliance, an international coalition of nearly 40 organisations dedicated to shark conservation, this event is open to anyone interested in learning about the crucial role sharks play in the health and balance of our oceans, and the dangers these animals are faced with due to fisheries overexploitation.
Europe is home to some of the largest fishing fleets in the world, including some that are dedicated to catching sharks. The lack of thorough shark management in the European Union has led to a drastic decline in European shark populations. European Shark Week will serve to denounce these alarming population declines, the role that Europe plays in the trade of sharks and shark-derived products, and the threat that the deficient European policies represent for these animals around the world.
Rebecca Greenberg, who helps lead the shark campaign for Oceana in Europe, notes that “now is the time for everyone in Europe who cares about sharks and the environment to move to action before its loo late for these animals”. To demonstrate their support, people can sign an electronic or paper “fin”, which will be presented the European Commissioner Joe Borg, responsible for European Fisheries and Maritime Affairs.
Oceana congratulates the Iberian Association of Zoos y Aquariums (IAZA), which has given its total support to the campaign. IAZA includes eight Spanish aquariums that have signed up to participate in European Shark Week in various ways, from holding events such as “sleeping with sharks” to chats, workshops and a drawing competition for children entitled “What is a shark to you?”
Oceana commends the participation of the Zoo Aquarium in Madrid, Faunia in Madrid, the Acuario in Gijón, the Oceanogràfic of the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, the Aquarium in San Sebastián, the Aquarium in Barcelona, the Museo Marítimo del Cantábrico in Santander and the Aquarium Finisterrae in La Coruña. The collaboration of these aquariums means that the message regarding the need for shark conservation will reach a wide public.
"European Shark Week will demonstrate the high level of support for shark conservation in all of Europe, and we hope it leads to the implementation of a Community Plan of Action for sharks” adds Rebecca Greenberg. "By participating in this initiative’s activities, aquariums and shark enthusiasts can help prevent future declines in European shark populations”, concludes the shark specialist from Oceana in Europe.
How to participate: