Mystic Aquarium Busts Shark Myths Wide Open

Win Mystic Aquarium Tickets – Entry Deadline Friday 7/14/17 

Chain Dogfish Shark

By Jamie Appelberg, Mystic Aquarium

Discovery Channel’s Shark Week is almost here. But why wait one second longer than you have to to tear into Shark Week? The Feinstein Foundation is offering the chance to see the premier episode at Mystic Aquarium before anyone else complete with free entrance to the aquarium! Simply enter the contest below and you may find yourself on the road to Mystic soon.

More Shark Questions from Feinstein Scholars:

 

To whet your appetite, your friends at Mystic want to clear the air a bit when it comes to their finny friends. And so, without further ado, enjoy “Mythbusters meets Shark Week.”

MYTH: If a shark latches on, it’s never letting go: FALSE

Humans are NOT part of the sharks’ fairly strict diet. If a shark attacks a human, it’s most likely by mistake. Say a shark was chasing a fish or seal and it hears people splashing or swimming, it is likely that the shark will take this for an injured animal (a.k.a. easy prey). Once the shark recognizes that this is not its desired meal, it will let go and swim off.

Many of the over 400 species of shark live on a diet that consists of krill, crustaceans and small fish. While many will also feast on large fish, seals, sea lions, and porpoises, the likelihood of them straying from their diet is low. Sharks are curious creatures, but just like you and me, they know what they like and don’t like to eat!

Here are some other crazy statistics about shark attacks! You’re more likely to get struck by lightning, or hit by an asteroid than you are to be attacked by a shark!

MYTH: Sharks don’t contribute to the eco-system: FALSE

Sharks often look for easy prey, like hurt or injured fish. By consuming those fish, they are helping in two ways 1) by eliminating disease more quickly in the ocean environment, and 2) maintaining the food chain. Sharks help maintain populations in other ways too. Sharks help protect our marine ecosystem through intimidation; ‘scaring’ away fish and other marine life that may overeat in sea grass beds or coral.

MYTH: Sharks have no predators: FALSE

Many believe that sharks are at the top of the food chain and therefore don’t have any predators. When, in fact, humans are sharks’ main predators. Humans kill tens of millions of sharks per year for things like shark fin soup (considered a delicacy) and liver oil. But, mostly, sharks are killed out of fear. Sharks are commonly hunted for their reputation on the big screen, which is either exaggerated or completely false! Sharks have unfairly earned a reputation that elicits a ‘universal’ fear. In reality more than 95% of shark species go unseen by humans!

Human interactions like those listed above are only part of the common threats to sharks. Illegal sport fishing, marine debris and habitat loss are among the others.

Sharks have been around since dinosaurs roamed the earth… DINOSAURS! As humans, we have the power to put an end to all these misconceptions, to start spreading truths about these prehistoric wonders! Sharks are incredibly interesting creatures, and they’re vital to our ocean’s ecosystem! We must remember the ocean is their home, and we need to respect and protect that!

In his continuing search for new and exciting educational opportunities, Alan Shawn Feinstein has now made it possible for area folks to become shark experts. The Feinstein Foundation is offering the opportunity for people to win tickets to see a screening of the premier episode of “Shark Week” at Mystic Aquarium before it has aired on the Discovery Channel.

Alan Shawn Feinstein’s commitment to schools and education in the State of Rhode Island and South Eastern Massachusetts is legendary. He has dedicated millions of dollars to its schools, and consistently promotes the importance of community service in education and the values of caring, compassion and brotherhood. Students are still enjoying personal visits from Alan at their elementary schools and viewers can still hear his message through his RI PBS show which can also be seen on Netflix! Alan Shawn Feinstein and the Feinstein Foundation are dedicated to empowering youngsters to reach out to help others and teach them the importance of compassion and caring for those in need. There are currently over 250,000 Feinstein Jr. Scholars pledging to do good deeds every day. “

For more on sharks, click here!