Save Our Sharks
Welcome to S.O.S!
My name is James Cruickshank and I am the founder and CEO of Treeting Cards®. If you found the S.O.S. logo on your card, know that I am donating a portion of the proceeds to organizations that help save sharks and their habitats. Please read on to view the presentation I gave to my 4th-grade class in 2015. I hope it will help you understand why I choose to focus my efforts on saving them.
I have been obsessed with sharks since the age of three
—imitating their fierceness, surrounding myself with their likeness, and taking in all the information possible about them and their world. My obsession is not the norm and I don't intend to persuade your affection for them, but what I do hope to do is lessen your fears, help you understand why these creatures are so important to our planet, and maybe, give you a little insight as to how I see them.
First, allow me to put the danger posed by sharks in perspective.
About half of the 7 billion people on this planet live near the coasts and hundreds of millions of people work and play in the oceans daily. Of all these people, an average of 10 annually actually dies from a shark encounter. SHARKS DON'T EAT PEOPLE. We're not on the menu. Sharks "attacks" are motivated by self-defense, territorial issues or curiosity. Sharks investigate with their mouths, and in almost all cases, the person is released after the initial contact. The same thing a dog would do. However, (here comes the bad news) the ocean itself is FAR more dangerous, drowning thousands each year. Also, those squishy, unsuspecting jellyfish kill four times as many people as sharks and to date, nobody is interested in making a killer movie about them!
The following infographic details more unsuspecting killers -notice where sharks rank.
Here's a twist
The next infographic will probably be just as shocking to you as the first. Count, if you can, all the little sharks in a row, then the number of rows. This details how many sharks are KILLED BY HUMANS every HOUR. If it makes your eyes cross, scroll to the bottom of the infographic for the answer.
Is EXTINCTION inevitable?
The hunting of sharks for fin soup has left them in a world of hurt. Sharks are slow growing, late maturing and give birth to few young. These factors make them especially vulnerable to overfishing. The following infographic details what has happened to the populations since 1950, when fin soup became heavily sought after as a symbol of wealth, and respect.
Why sharks matter.
Sharks keep the oceans alive by keeping them in balance. They are a critical component in an ecosystem that provides one-third of our world with food. Oceans produce more oxygen than all the rainforests combined; they remove half of the atmospheric greenhouse gases and control our planet's temperature and weather. Studies are indicating that regional elimination of sharks can have disastrous effects including the collapse of fisheries, the death of coral reefs as well as the depletion of oxygen levels in the ocean.
My personal thoughts
When I see a shark, I see the power of this planet. I see nature's creation of "fierce" in its most spectacular form. Like a hurricane, volcanic eruption, or earthquake, sharks are a creation of Mother Nature to keep her in balance. They have been doing a job on her behalf for over 450 million years. Who are we to rob her of them?
I know what you're thinking,
"But James, I just read this entire page and they still scare me. I can't see them "curiosity-ing" me in the water and they're fast and big with a million giant teeth." I get it. It's sort of like a ghost in a haunted house. You know it's there, watching you, waiting for the perfect moment, them BAM, you're slimed! Okay, no big teeth (much less a body), but we are talking about a creature that is remarkably non-violent towards humans, yet is built to be the fiercest creature on this planet.
Who wouldn't feel overwhelmed in their presence? They are made that way. The "hollowed-eye" warriors of the deep have such focus and purpose it's awe-inspiring. With their commanding size and speed, we're diminished to give into our fears and acknowledge their power is beyond us. BUT THEREIN LIES THEIR BEAUTY. Therein lies the inspiration to feed scripts for major Hollywood movies, to empower young boys, future warriors, to channel and imitate the emotion of fierceness evoked by their mere sight. And therein lies the decadence of the human race to hunt them to near extinction for the illusion of power.
Knowledge is the Real Power.
And now, you've done your part in my book.
I love sharks. This is my story. They are my journey. Semper Fi.
Thank you for taking the time to read this page.
You can find more sharks friends at the following websites:
- Project Aware
- Shark Advocates
- Shark Trust
- Wild Aid
- Wildlife Conservation Society
- Humane Society International