Angels have been around since what seems to be the beginning of time. Traditionally they are known to be spiritual beings believed to act as attendants, agents, or messengers of God. However, a popular premise is that angels serve to watch over and protect us in times of trial. We humans have angels; the shark world has Shark Angels.
Embracing the atrocity that over 73,000,000 sharks are killed in a year (11,000 per hour), Julie Andersen founded the 501(C)3 organization in October 2007 with the simple mission to “lead a positive, contagious movement to save sharks and the oceans.”
Together with Alison Kock and Kim McCoy, they captured the attention of the world by getting into the water with over a dozen tiger sharks and countless lemon sharks, which are noted as some of the world’s most dangerous sharks. In doing so, they believed that “when the world came face to fin with the ‘world’s most dangerous sharks’ along with them, they would realize that sharks aren’t enemies”. With the assistance of an experienced video crew, a short film was release to the internet and their grassroots campaign to change the misconceived Hollywood perception of these invaluable creatures began.
With the ball rolling, Shark Angels has been growing their campaign ever since. Founded on three concepts – positivity, unity and passion – Shark Angels has been contributing to the cause of protecting sharks through “sheer willpower, donated time and grassroots campaigns” that include education, conservation efforts, and media in global publications throughout the world. They have established several programs in doing so. Today, their global network of Angels is over 10,000 strong, including cherubs (or kids). They have created a line of apparel bringing brand identity to worldwide recognition and have established several worldwide campaigns such as Fin Free, Operation Requiem, and Remove the Nets.
Their most recent campaign, Shark Free, enlightens readers of the uses for shark parts that are not typically known. Most people know about shark finning and shark fin soup, but many do not know that other parts of the shark such as shark liver oil, cartilage, skin and meat are used in many consumer products such as cosmetics, health supplements, pet foods and treats, fertilizer and fish products available in restaurants. This campaign will raise awareness of the many ways people may inadvertently be purchasing shark products. With awareness, the demand for these products will hopefully decline thus saving more sharks.
With the current threat to sharks, organizations like Shark Angels play a crucial role in combating the inaccurate notion that ‘the only good shark is a dead shark’. It is vital for people to understand the effects of a shark’s existence in our oceans’ ecosystem. Shark Angels has played a crucial role in educating the public and has demonstrated a strong commitment to this important cause. Their website reflects this commitment. Perusing through it I not only found what appears to be poignant information and many carefully chosen facts that helped with my understanding of how important sharks are to our world, but also a true love for sharks, our oceans, and deep care for the health of our planet. Thank you Shark Angels. We at Sharkbytes love your organization!
Get your shark angel wings on and get involved!