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Fintastic Friday – May 13, 2023

It’s time we celebrate Fintastic Friday, which takes place every second Friday of May. This year it will take place on . Elasmobranchii, a subclass of cartilaginous fish that includes sharks, rays, skates, and sawfish, is the focus of this special day. These aquatic animals contain five to seven pairs of separately opening gill clefts, inflexible dorsal fins, and tiny placoid skin scales. Ruth Musgrave, the founder, and director of Whale Times created Fintastic Friday, which promotes conservation efforts for shark, ray, skate, and sawfish.

History of Fintastic Friday

In 2015 the second Friday in May was designated Fintastic Friday to give sharks, skates, and rays a voice. It was established by Whale Times, an organization led by Ruth Musgrave that was established in 1995 to connect children to the ocean. The goal of Fintastic Friday is to raise awareness and encourage advocacy for the protection of elasmobranchs. This cartilaginous fish subclass includes sharks, rays, skates, and sawfish.

Musgrave believes that children are the sharks’ future as no one is louder or more enthusiastic than a caring child. Not only do they want children from all over the world to spread the message of saving the sharks, but they also want them to honor and create awareness for sharks every day. Raising awareness and advocating for conservation efforts to save some of the ocean’s most magnificent creatures is what inspired the team behind the creation of Whale Times and the goal to provide easy access to marine science information for children. And through formal and informal educational programs, their mission is to connect the ocean, ocean research, researchers, and students. Today, the organization is admired by educators, marine scientists, and other scientific organizations for inspiring students to pursue careers in marine science and work toward solutions to protect our ocean environments.

As the director of Whale Times, Musgrave believes that the public’s perception of sharks should be revised because their survival is critical to the survival of all ocean species. She believes they require a new voice and that children can help provide that voice. It encourages them to participate in shark conservation efforts and contributes to changing the public’s perception of sharks from fear to appreciation and from hatred to love, as all of nature’s creatures should be.

Fintastic Friday timeline

1970
Rare Beasts

Shark populations decrease by 71% due to overfishing.

1975
Creating Fear

Steven Spielberg’s thriller about a killer shark, “Jaws,” premieres and creates a lasting fear of sharks globally.

1995
A Whale of a Time

Ruth Musgrave founds Whale Times, an organization aiming to educate kids on the ocean.

2009
Going Virtual

Whale Times launches its Virtual Research Missions to give classrooms a chance to learn about ocean research.

2015
For the Sharks

Fintastic Friday is established by the Whale Times organization.

Fintastic Friday FAQs

What is shark conservation?

The Shark Conservation Act of 2010 was signed into law on January 4, 2011, amending the High Seas Driftnet Fishing Moratorium Protection Act and the M.S.A. With one exception, the Shark Conservation Act requires that all sharks in the United States be brought to shore with their fins naturally attached.

How do you become a shark conservationist?

Investigate volunteer programs as the best option. Volunteer programs for sharks range from assisting shark biologists in field research to helping shark conservation groups raise funds or promoting awareness, and even assisting in the environmental cleanup of shark waters after a disaster.

What would happen if sharks went extinct?

Shark extinction has resulted in declining coral reefs, seagrass beds, and commercial fisheries. By removing sharks from the coral reef ecosystem, larger predatory fish such as groupers thrive and feed on the herbivores.

How to Observe Fintastic Friday

  1. Take part in Sharks in the Park

    Whale Times hosts a national Sharks in the Park party to raise awareness for Fintastic Friday and shark conservation every year. You can either join a local rally in your town or city or create your very own Sharks in the Park sign to put up at your home or keep it in your car's rear window. This way, you are spreading the word in a fun way.

  2. Take the Fintastic Friday pledge

    By taking the pledge, you will agree to consume only sustainable seafood and speak out in support of changing laws if your country supports or allows the sale of shark fins, the finning fishery, or other fishing practices that kill sharks without restraint. You can also nominate and encourage friends and family to take the pledge.

  3. Create art

    There are many ways to create awareness and raise funds for a good cause, one of which is creating one-of-a-kind pieces of art that you can sell and gift the profits to your local sealife charities and organizations. You can also create an official sticker or poster to produce in bulk and hand it out at aquariums and water parks to further spread the word about Fintastic Friday.

5 Fintastic Facts About Sharks

  1. Sharks don’t have bones

    Their cartilaginous skeletons are much lighter than actual bone, and their large livers are filled with low-density oils, that contribute to their buoyancy.

  2. They have really tough skin

    Because shark skin consists of tiny teeth-like structures called placoid scales, also known as dermal denticles, it feels exactly like sandpaper.

  3. They can’t stop swimming

    While at rest, some sharks have a spiracle that allows them to draw water into their respiratory system, but most sharks must continue to swim to pump water over their gills.

  4. Their reproductive systems differ

    Sharks' reproductive modes are highly diverse, and there are two types of species; oviparous (egg-laying) and viviparous (live-bearing).

  5. Sharks have excellent eyesight

    Most sharks can see well in low-light conditions, have excellent night vision, and can distinguish between colors.

Why Fintastic Friday is Important

  1. Kids learn about sharks

    The goal of Whale Times director and founder Ruth Musgrave is to educate kids and teach them about sharks so that they can understand that these creatures are not just scary fish in the ocean but that they contribute heavily to the ecosystem and wildlife in general. There are also fun activities that kids can do to learn more about these species.

  2. Sealife conservation is encouraged

    Animal and wildlife conservation is vital to the ecosystem and to anyone who stands for animal rights. Through these conservation efforts, we not only help save some species, but we’re also raising future leaders and animal rights activists, which is something the world needs right now. We’re all about getting as many people as possible involved in the fight for sealife protection and all wildlife as well.

  3. Further shark research is funded

    By having shark conservation drives and observing Fintastic Friday by holding rallies and selling art, we are raising funds for the further research of these animals to continue to ensure that they remain part of the ocean and the ecosystem.

Fintastic Friday dates

YearDateDay
2023May 13Saturday
2024May 13Monday
2025May 13Tuesday
2026May 13Wednesday
2027May 13Thursday

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