As cartilaginous fish, Sharks have been gracefully swimming our oceans (and even rivers) for more than 420 million years, outliving dinosaurs and many other forms of life on earth. Created in many shapes, colours and sizes (some up to 12 metres long), Sharks are our ocean’s top predators feasting on fish, squids and plankton making them essential to the natural order of our marine ecosystem. Currently, there are over 400 species of Sharks that exist in our world, all living in different layers of the ocean.
Did you know that sharks are actually under threat? Many can get caught in fishing gear or are deliberately hunted for their fins. They are also in danger from climate change and plastic pollution in the water. To help save our sharks, make sure you limit your plastic use and always pick up your rubbish when you’re at the beach.
Although far from aggressive, most Stingrays are equipped with a fearsome means of defense – a venomous spine found near the base of their whip-like tail. With the ability to camouflage along the seafloor, Stingrays use their smell and touch to sense the electrical field of its prey which include plankton and small invertebrates.
Sadly, Stingrays are at risk, threatened by extinction, overfishing, pollution, boat traffic and international trade causing population decline. To help protect this beautiful species, always eat sustainable seafood and reduce your plastic.
Although fish share two key traits (they all live in water and are vertebrates), their colour, shape and character vary significantly. Salmon for instance have gills and reproduce by laying eggs. Eels have long, snake-like bodies and very slippery skin and Whale Sharks can grow up to 14 metres long and swim at only 5kph. While most fish are cold-blooded, some larger swimmers like sharks and tuna can regulate their body temperature to swim in shallower waters.
Currently, 1,414 species of fish, or 5% of the world's known species, are at risk of extinction. This is due to overfishing, habitat destruction and pollution. To help save our fish species, always take your rubbish home from the beach, never release balloons in the sky and recycle your plastic as much as possible.