These enigmatic apex predators are returning after an epic ocean voyage crossing the ocean from a communal area thousands of miles offshore in what is termed the White Shark Cafe. Local surfers call it Sharktober and when there is a shark sighting at Stinson Beach or Bolinas the news station and papers are quick to report it. Like the recent article in the San Francisco Chroinicle, reports are loaded with adjectives like grisly death, and white sharks swarming. What we don’t hear is the story: Man Bites Shark! For every shark attack on humans, there are hundreds of thousands of sharks killed each year.
We have a misconception of sharks extending from blind fear to the ironic but ignorant symbol of a local surf shop. Scientists have demonstrated that sharks play a vital role for a healthy ocean ecosystem.
Instead of no sharks, we should be saying Let Sharks Live!
This Sharktober, Sea Stewards and other organizations including our National Marine Sanctuary and the California Academy of Sciences will be celebrating the shark.
We will celebrate our shared ocean, a healthy San Francisco Bay and our personal connection to the sea, as well as to raise awareness about the crucial role the sharks play, and ways people can help to protect them.
The San Francisco Sharktoberfest celebrations will be held around the Bay all October to draw attention to conserving the diversity of life in the ocean, including sharks.
This Sharktober, think about the ocean’s amazing diversity of life adjacent to our shoreline and in the Gulf of the farallones, join the shark celebration and do our part to help protect and conserve sharks!
Visit www.seastewards.org to find more information.