The South Carolina Aquarium is reaching a unique audience of students next Wednesday during our Homeschool Day. We do these days quarterly during the year with various themes. Next Wednesday we will be focusing on jaw-some sharks! Everyone knows sharks… some love them, some fear them, and some love to fear them. There is a lot of information out there about sharks, but our goal is to find a way to communicate properly with our homeschool audience about why sharks are so important and what problems they are facing in the wild.
At one of the activity stations, kids will learn about shark finning and conservation of sharks. Over 100 million sharks are killed every year, mostly due to shark finning. Luckily, in the United States, shark finning is illegal. We want kids to know that it’s okay to eat shark, as long as it isn’t imported. Asking before you order is a great way to spread awareness that people want to know where their seafood is coming from. Sustainable seafood is a huge topic at the Aquarium. To help interpret this, we just installed a new interactive fishing exhibit where kids have a chance to “fish.” Once they pull the fish up, they place it on a ruler and a screen will tell them if it is a good catch or if they should release it. It teaches kids that you have to pay attention to what fish you’re catching and eating to ensure that our oceans are healthy.
It is sure to be a very exciting and fast paced day next Wednesday as we teach hundreds of homeschool kids about the reality of sharks. If you look at your watch and think about what’s happened for the last 20 minutes. Over that 20 minutes, 4,000 sharks have been killed. It’s things like this that will make lasting impacts on our visitors and inspire them to be more aware of the problems that sharks are facing.