Sharks are often seen as sea monsters of the deep, but as apex ocean predators, they play an important role in keeping the balance of our oceans in check.
To kick off the annual Shark Week starting next Sunday with a focus on conservation and education, the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre is celebrating sharks in partnership with “Shark Stanley” the main character in the children’s book, The Adventures of Shark Stanley and Friends. Similar to the well-known “Flat Stanley” this story focuses on the challenges that sharks face when they encounter humans — fisheries in particular — and lays the foundation for the Shark Stanley campaign that is calling for protecting shark populations around the world.
On July 5, 2015, we are giving away free copies of the book at the Vancouver Aquarium. According to co-author Leah Meth, “Our goal is to bring something new to the table, to provide an educational tool that goes beyond a signature on a petition. We wanted to create a charismatic character with whom young people — and the young at heart — can build their own relationships, while making meaningful connections with youth around the world.”
If you’re not able to make it to the Aquarium in person, you can join in the campaign to raise awareness about endangered sharks by visiting the Shark Stanley Campaign page online and downloading your own cut-out. Then you can take Shark Stanley on your family adventures and tag photos #SharkStanley on Twitter or Instagram to see where he ends up.
“The Shark Stanley campaign to save sharks is a great fit for the Vancouver Aquarium,” says Dolf Dejong, vice president of conservation and education. “Our mission is to conserve aquatic life. We do that through research, education and programs like Ocean Wise™ which supports and promotes sustainable fisheries. Sharks play a vital role as top predators in the oceans ecosystems. If sharks are removed, then the ecosystems we see today will be very different tomorrow.”
The Vancouver Aquarium will be celebrating sharks all week from July 5 through July 12 with additional shark programming and hands on learning opportunities. You can learn more about sharks with Vancouver Aquarium AquaFacts, or by visiting the Aquarium in person.