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    10 facts about sharks you must know for Shark Awareness Day

    Learn some awesome facts about sharks for Shark Awareness Day!

    1. Sharks outlived the dinos

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    Sharks not only lived on after the age of dinosaurs, but they originated in a time before those giants even walked the Earth. Shark fossils have been found from as far back as 450 million years. This was 190 million years before dinos even appeared.

    2. Toasters are scarier than sharks

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    While humans kill up to 100 million sharks each year, there are only five or six human fatalities inadvertently caused by sharks. By comparison, toasters cause an estimated 700 deaths each year!

    3. Sharks are better at fighting global warming than your reusable straws

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    Sharks are doing more work than even the most woke among us. At the top of the marine food chain, they are biologically charged with keeping prey populations in check. For example, they feed on animals such as seals, sea turtles and fish, who consume huge amounts of sea grass. Sea grass stores large amounts of carbon from the atmosphere. But when these marine animal populations expand at an unsustainable rate, this essential carbon storage is threatened. Sharks, the natural predators of these animals, are the only ones that can keep this in check. But that’s a hard job to do when humans kill large numbers of sharks.

    4. You have probably rubbed shark products on your face

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    While shark populations continue to decline, the cosmetic industry continues to use sharks for their squalene – a substance derived from the liver of deep-sea sharks and used in lotions, conditioners and sunscreens. Shark-based squalene has a readily available substitute on the market that comes from a purely vegetable origin – olives – which is actually known to be of better quality than shark-based squalene.

    5. Sharks are sold under different names at grocery stores

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    If you have ever seen the terms rock salmon, flake or whitefish fillets, there is a good chance you ate shark. Imitation crab can also contain shark. Names like these are used to hide the fact that shark meat is being used in place of other popular fish meat. These products pose dangers to our health, because sharks often have higher traces of mercury.

    6. More and more shark fins are being seized before they can be sold around the world

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    On May 29 Hong Kong seized 3 tons of illegal shark with a value of US $2.2 million.

    7. Advocates are taking action to stop the harm sunscreens are having on our oceans

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    Hawaii’s Senate recently passed a bill that would ban the sale of sunscreen with two harmful petrochemicals, avobenzone and octocrylene. These chemicals have toxic impacts on a variety of marine life and coral reefs.

    8. There is a legislative push to ban the sale of shark fins

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    The United States, U.K. and Canada are all taking steps to stop the trade of shark fins. The U.S. bill will make it illegal to possess, buy, sell or transport shark fins or any product containing shark fins. This year the U.K. announced it will ban shark fins, while Canada banned the trade of shark fins in 2019.

    9. Penalties for those who capture or kill sharks are increasing

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    Hawaii Governor David Ige signed nine ocean and marine-related bills into law on World Ocean day this year. One of those bills, HB553, will provide penalties to those who intentionally capture, entangle, or kill sharks.

    10. More Asian-Pacific countries are taking a stand against illegal fishing and the killing of sharks

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    Last year Taiwan announced a ban on the fishing of three large-size shark species. Any fishing vessels that catch megamouth, great white or basking sharks by accident must release them back into the sea whether dead or alive. This applies to all Taiwanese fishing boats, regardless of their location.

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