Sharks are friends, not our enemies

In 2005, NSU’s mascot, previously a knight, was changed to a shark. More specifically, a mako shark, and thus, was the birth of Razor. Seen dancing around campus, riding his scooter and motivating the crowds at games, athletic events and student activities, Razor is proof to show that we, as Sharks, should not find sharks menacing.

Shark Awareness Day is July 14 and is a day dedicated to respecting these magnificent sea creatures. While our culture has often told us that sharks are bad news even having signs that say “shark infested waters,” the truth is, we are the ones invading their territory when we go out to beaches and are in the ocean. Moreover, sharks are actually more threatened by us than we are by them.

Every year, sharks are taken out of their home for our own selfish wants. There’s worldwide demand for shark-fin soup, shark teeth souvenirs, jewelry and decorations and the removal of sharks in general. Luckily, in recent decades, things have slowly been changing as more people are starting to see the sharks’ side of things.

Shark Trust is an organization dedicated to “safeguarding the future of sharks through positive change, [achieving] this through science, education, influence and action,” according to their mission statement. Shark Trust is composed of shark supporters who see sharks as friends rather than enemies.

According to Shark Trust, “Sharks play an integral role in keeping our oceans healthy. They do this by keeping other populations in check and preying on the sick and old. This prevents the spread of disease and improves the gene pool.”

With sharks constantly under threat, it is important to remember that sharks, like all species on this planet including us, are a piece of nature that not only is part of our culture, but also important to our ecosystem.

With our mascot being a mako shark, we should see the value in these animals and should try to protect them as we do other creatures. At the end of the day, the thing we fear most, shark attacks, are not as common as the media has made it out for us to think. We can all make a difference by just simply changing the way we see sharks.

While I’m not saying go out and hug a shark this Shark Awareness Day, I just think it’s important as Sharks to remember that, in some ways, we are sharks too.

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