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5 Facts About Sharks
​Raise Awareness for Why People Need Sharks

For 400 million years, sharks have roamed every ocean on Earth. Few species have thrived on our planet for as long — and fewer have been so misunderstood. The truth is that these mysterious, magnificent hunters are essential to the balance of marine ecosystems, help boost local economies and are actually worth more alive than dead. Sink your teeth into these interesting facts about sharks, share with your friends and learn why #PeopleNeedSharks.

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Edit Title:Sharks have survived 5 mass extinctions – including the one that killed the dinosaurs.
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Today there are more than 465 known species of sharks living in our oceans. Sadly though, nearly one in four of these species are currently threatened with extinction due to human activities like overfishing and shark finning.

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Edit Photo Alt Text: Hammerhead sharks
EditPhoto Credit:© CI/Sterling Zumbrunn
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Edit Title:Shark tourism generates more than $300 million USD annually.
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Sharks boost local economies through ecotourism. Over the last several decades, public fascination with sharks has developed into a thriving ecotourism industry in places such as the Bahamas, South Africa and the Galápagos Islands. These activities — which support businesses like boat rental and diving companies — are said to provide 10,000 jobs in 29 countries.

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Edit Photo Alt Text: A shark prowls the waters off Fiji.
EditPhoto Credit:© Rodolphe Holler
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Edit Title:Humans kill up to 100 million sharks per year.
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If anything, sharks should be afraid of humans — many species of sharks are threatened by human activities. Sharks worldwide are targets of vast overfishing to supply the enormous demand for sharkfin soup, a delicacy served at high-level social and diplomatic functions in Asia. But there is a flip side to this dire situation. Sharks are also valuable to humans for non-consumptive reasons – like ecotourism, smart design, and management of the ocean’s carbon cycle – and this gives hope for shark conservation efforts around the world.

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Edit Photo Alt Text: Blacktip reef shark (Carcharhinus melanopterus) swimming over tropical coral reef.
EditPhoto Credit:© Ian Scott
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Edit Title:Shark anatomy has inspired smart design such as watercraft, cars and water turbines.
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People have been practicing biomimicry — imitating nature’s designs to solve human problems — for many years. However, recent advances in technology have made it possible to go even further in pursuit of efficient design. In fact, some researchers are now trying to make artificial shark skin that would reduce friction drag and prevent the accumulation of algae and barnacles in the water — and even prevent bacterial growth when applied to hospital surfaces.

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Edit Photo Alt Text: Sawfish, which are a type of ray, have long, saw-like snouts that they use to dig up their food on the ocean floor or kill their prey.
EditPhoto Credit:© Forrest Samuels
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Edit Title:The world’s biggest shark, the whale shark, can grow as long as 40 feet.
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As filter-feeders, whale sharks swim with their mouths open to passively filter-feed on small fish, invertebrates, and plankton. While whale sharks aren’t as popularized in media as the jagged-toothed great whites, they do have a considerable impact on coastal economies around the world. As very docile fish, whale sharks attract large amounts of dive tourism – amounting to nearly $50 million USD annually.

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Edit Photo Alt Text: A whale shark in Indonesia's Cendrawasih Bay
EditPhoto Credit:© CI/Mark V. Erdmann
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EditPage Link:https://www.conservation.org/sharks
EditTweet Text:Sink your teeth into five fascinating shark facts, share with your friends and learn why #PeopleNeedSharks.
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    For Shark Week 2018, Conservation International has partnered with Krikey to raise awareness about sharks and ocean pollution. Check out their new augmented reality game today.

    ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Watch Sharks in Action

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    EditCarousel description: Get up close and personal with one of nature’s most misunderstood creatures.
    EditAnchor Tag: shark-videos[Optional]
    EditPlaylist ID: PLF61C23D1CABA90DA
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    More of Our Work Links

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    First Image

    EditTitle:Track Whale Sharks in Real Time
    EditImage:/SiteCollectionImages/ci_24400754.jpg
    EditLink:/sharktracking
    EditImage Alt Text:© Shawn Heinrichs
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    EditTitle:Quiz: What Kind of Shark Are You?
    EditImage:/SiteCollectionImages/ci_12758657.jpg
    EditLink:/quizzes/Pages/What-kind-of-shark-are-you.aspx
    EditImage Alt Text:© Daniel Kwok/Flickr Creative Commons
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    EditTitle:Dive Into 'Valen's Reef'
    EditImage:/SiteCollectionImages/ci_73119273.png
    EditLink:/stories/vr/pages/valens-reef.aspx
    EditImage Alt Text:© CI/John Martin
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