Sharks are in for an image makeover during New Zealand’s first-ever Shark Awareness Week which starts today!

Sharks often make the headlines for the wrong reasons so this week a series of events around NZ will focus on the vital role sharks play in maintaining the healthy balance of the world's oceans.

The events will also highlight the need for improved shark conservation in New Zealand, including a ban on shark finning.

Over the week there will public talks about sharks, shark encounters, art inspired by sharks and New Zealand singer Jamie McDell will dive with the sharks. You can see the full schedule here.

Organised by the New Zealand Shark Alliance, which includes Greenpeace and lots of other groups, New Zealand’s first Shark Awareness Week has been timed just ahead of the government’s five-year review of its shark conservation and fisheries laws.

Shark finning is the practice of killing a shark just for its fins, then dumping its body back in the sea - and while banned in many countries - it’s still legal in New Zealand.

It’s time for New Zealand to catch up, and show that we are clean and green. And soon our government has the perfect opportunity to ban shark finning in NZ waters. You can help make that happen by pledging your support for a ban on shark finning. We'll keep you posted and let you know when you can have your say.

We had a huge response to our TV advert calling on the government to ban shark finning and we were able to produce and screen the ad in prime time thanks to hundreds of supporters who donated to our Shark appeal. You can view it here.

Almost 100 countries and states have banned shark finning but in ‘100% pure NZ’ it’s still perfectly legal.

Help us gain more support for a ban by sharing the Shark Pledge on facebook.

Thanks for your support.