They have survived for 450 million years. They are the world’s top predator. And, according to Rob Stewart and those that work with him, sharks are the earth’s greatest hope for saving the planet.
The Save the Sharks Art Club at Byrne Creek Secondary School is embarking on an awareness campaign which supports Mr. Stewart’s research. Every Friday at lunch they meet to find ways to bring attention to the plight of the sharks; already they have created an awareness video and posters to adorn the Atrium. Why?
Each year, up to 100 million sharks worldwide are killed primarily for their fins, used in the very profitable shark fin soup. Not only is it simply cruel to fin sharks but because sharks regulate species in the oceans, if they were to become extinct, it is believed that ocean ecosystems would collapse. This could lead to a negative impact on oxygen production because without phytoplankton – a part of a healthy sea environment – less oxygen would be produced. Sharks already have a shaky future with the acidification of the oceans affecting their fitness and survival.
On Thursday, February 26th, the Save the Sharks Art Club will connect with students from the Glenlyon Norfolk School in Victoria, BC and their teacher, Ms. M. McCullough via videoconference in the Centre For Dialogue between 10:30am and noon. The conversation will centre on getting to know each other, and the work that each group has done promoting shark awareness. Byrne Creek’s students hope to become part of “Fin Free BC”, which encourages the banning of shark fin soup in British Columbia in addition to many other important, shark-related issues.
The Save the Sharks Art Club has been working under the guidance of Ms. J. McLeod and student teacher, Ms. T. Macdonald, with the support of Mr. D. Starr, Principal of Byrne Creek Secondary. It is exciting to note that the filmmaker Rob Stewart, creator of “Sharkwater”, has promised to meet with the club in April, to pass on his lifelong fascination with sharks and his concern for the exploitation of these important creatures. The trailer for his video can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5fObF_CCYc#t=76