Every year, more than 100 million sharks are killed with overfishing threatening their survival and putting marine ecosystems at risk of collapse.
Thousands of sharks are caught accidentally or become entangled in discarded fishing gear floating in the ocean, known as ghost nets.
Others are targeted for their fins, driven by the demand for shark fin soup.
To raise awareness of the perilous situation facing sharks and learn about the choices we can make to ensure a more positive future for them, OceanEarth Foundation (formerly TierraMar) through its Ghost Nets Australia program, is partnering with the new Sydney Zoo at Eastern Creek, to help protect our oceans and rivers and secure a better future for wildlife.
The OceanEarth Foundation empowers local people to become informed decision-makers and active champions of change within their communities.
Through collective effort, across Australia, the Pacific and Coral Triangle, we are nurturing a future where humanity and the natural world are harmoniously connected.
A Future for Sharks, which launched at Sydney Zoo on National Threatened Species Day in September, will lead visitors into the ocean depths to reveal the critical role that sharks play in keeping our oceans healthy and in maintaining the status quo both as an apex predator and as part of the clean-up crew.
“Sharks are often misrepresented with many species sadly on the brink of extinction because of unsustainable fishing practices and entanglement in ghost nets” Anissa Lawrence, Managing Director, OceanEarth Foundation, said.
“Most people know very little about them, their lives and their habitat – this is why we’re excited to be teaming up with Sydney Zoo for A Future for Sharks.”
Sydney Zoo is Sydney’s only combined zoo and aquarium and is home to a range of aquatic fresh and marine species including bull sharks, barramundi, turtles, cod, and penguins.
“Sharks have been swimming in our oceans for more than 400 million years and there are over 500 species, yet a world without sharks is a very real concept,” said Liz Gerber, Conservation and Community Manager at Sydney Zoo.
A Future for Sharks will show guests why sharks are important for our planet, how to help these amazing creatures, and how everyday choices in the supermarket affect the future of our oceans.
Over the next four months, the zoo will be fundraising to support the work of OceanEarth Foundations; Ghostnets Australia program in not just cleaning up and sustainably disposing of ghost nets across northern Australia but stopping them at the source.
Thousands of abandoned, lost or discarded fishing nets wash up along Australia’s northern coast each year.
Before reaching our shores, however, these nets silently drift through the ocean, entangling and killing thousands of marine wildlife including sharks and turtles.
The program was created with Indigenous Rangers to understand why ghost nets wash up, assist them in cleaning up and disposing of them appropriately and find solutions to stop the problem
at the source.
Ryan Fritz started The Advocate in 2014 to provide not-for-profits and charities another media platform to tell their worthwhile hard news stories and opinion pieces effortlessly. In 2020, Ryan formed a team of volunteer journalists to help spread even more high-quality stories from the third sector. He also has over 10 years experience as a media and communications professional for not-for-profits and charities and currently works at Redkite, a childhood cancer charity.