Jenga. A tense game in which a player tests the strength of a structure by slowly removing one piece from it at a time. Take one wrong piece, and the entire structure collapses. The game ends. As the game goes on, and more pieces are taken away, it becomes more and more likely a “wrong piece” will be pulled and the entire structure will break.

The structure of the ocean, how it lives, dances and survives can be likened to Jenga; it can survive with a few pieces missing, but take one wrong piece and an entire ecosystem collapses. Now, it’s no secret that sharks have such an important role within the ocean’s living structure that they can be identified as a “wrong piece” to pull. Just like in the game, for some reason you still want to test the “wrong piece”. Even when your friends warn you of the consequences, just like scientists warn of the potential disasters, you pull it because you think the structure can take one more hit – an ocean without sharks. You pull that piece, and the structure collapses.

Love sharks? Here are six things not to do to help save them:

Consume or purchase shark

There’s more to it than just the nefarious shark fin soup… shark steaks or meat including imitation crab, lobster or shrimp all come from the average 100 million sharks that are pulled out of the ocean every year. For what? To be the “wonder ingredient” behind an overpriced, scientifically unproven medicinal treatment method, or to be a substitute for lobster and crab.

Eat at restaurants or shop from stores that sell sharks

Eating at restaurants or purchasing from stores that sell shark gives businesses an economic incentive to continue fishing for sharks. Take a stand, research into a store’s products before buying from there. If you find anything fishy, voice your concern and take your business elsewhere.

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Use products that contain Squalene

Never use any products (including makeup, lotions an deodorants) that contain Squalene – shark liver oil. In fact, try and just buy cruelty free.

Use plastic, a lot

While plastic bags, and the small, thin transparent ones you get given at supermarkets are the worst culprits, all plastic products are problematic for the ocean and sharks. Entering the ocean’s food chain, both plastic suffocates marine life when consumed, and poisons them with its toxins.7604151_xxl

Dump rubbish on the roadside

Because of the thousands of waterways that cut through the majority of the Earth’s land mass, many things that are discarded, even far inland, have a tendency to make their way to the oceans. Floating on the surface, trapping fish or suffocating pelagic species, your waste may well be deadly to marine life. Plus, you don’t want any of your rubbish entering the ocean to add another metre of terra firma to the infamous Garbage Continents in both the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean.

Share shark attack videos or anything that depicts sharks as bloodthirsty killer on the internet

Sharing shocking YouTube videos of provoked shark attacks to any social media platform promotes the idea that sharks are bad. If people see them, quite wrongly, as intensely evil beings, they will be far from interested in ever wanting to protect them.