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Take Action for Sharks, Starting With Your Grocery List

by Guest Blogger

July 9, 2015

Shark Week is already off to a sharktastic start, with lots of jawsome shark facts, images, stories and sharkisms swimming around cyberspace. This week is about getting to know these amazing creatures, sharing stories and inspiring people to take action to ensure our oceans are safer and healthier for the more than 400 magnificent species of ocean lions.

Shark Week is already off to a sharktastic start, with lots of jawsome shark facts, images, stories and sharkisms swimming around cyberspace. This week is about getting to know these amazing creatures, sharing stories and inspiring people to take action to ensure our oceans are safer and healthier for the more than 400 magnificent species of ocean lions.

Taking action for sharks may seem like a daunting task as a mere land-dweller, but it’s easier than you think. You can start by taking a look in your cupboards, or at your grocery list, and making sure that any seafood you buy doesn’t come from well-known shark-harming fisheries. One product to watch out for, and it’s a popular one, is canned tuna … gasp!

Is Your Tuna Shark-Safe?

It may come as a surprise that many people’s go-to sandwich contains fish that comes from fishing methods that catch—and often kill—sharks and other marine life that aren’t tuna.

In fact, longlining—one of the two most popular tuna fishing methods—is responsible for the death of a mind-boggling number of sharks each year and is often associated with the horrifying practice of shark-finning.  Longlining, when no care is taken to avoid incidentally catching other species (which happens most of the time) really sucks. Unfortunately, the bulk of albacore products sold by the most popular tuna brands come from these destructive fisheries.

What about skipjack or yellowfin tuna? Sharks aren’t off the hook here either. Unless the tuna comes from pole and line, handline or free-school (FAD-free) purse seine fisheries, sharks have likely been harmed to fill that can of tuna.

But, there are alternatives and solutions! In you’re shopping in the US, before your next visit to the grocery store, check out Greenpeace’s U.S. Tuna Shopping Guide for some greener (shark-friendly) options. Avoid red-ranked brands including some of the most well-known like Bumble Bee, Starkist and Chicken of the Sea. If you’re shopping in Canada, you can download Greenpeace Canada’s Sustainable Canned Tuna Guide app, which highlights greener options and rates most brands found on Canadian store shelves. Avoid red-rated products including Canada’s biggest brand, Clover Leaf, Bumble Bee’s tuna brand north of the border.

#SaveSharks

How else can you take action this #SharkWeek? You can sign a petition aimed at tuna giant Bumble Bee, you can text SHARK to 877877 to get more take action points and facts, you can help spread the shark love by emoticon bombing your friends’ Facebook pages by typing “Shift 9, Shift 6, Shift 6, Shift 6, Shift 0”, you can share this blog far and wide and you can follow #SharkWeek on Twitter to see all the amazing organizations and people working to #SaveSharks!

Now, to really make sure you’re in the #sharkweek spirit, figure out your shark name in the chart below and try to introduce yourself with a straight face.

Shark Name Generator

For the oceans (and the sharks!),

Sicklefin Killjoy

We Need Your Voice. Join Us!

Want to learn more about tax-deductible giving, donating stock and estate planning?

Visit Greenpeace Fund, a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) charitable entity created to increase public awareness and understanding of environmental issues through research, the media and educational programs.