When my 9 year old son came to me and asked if he could start a non-profit to help save sharks, I thought it was cute. I thought he was like every other kid raised in Jacksonville Beach with a bedroom all decked out in sharks, afternoons spent hunting for shark teeth, and he just thought they were cool. But after a few weeks of him begging me, bringing me his 10+ books on sharks, and talking about how he planned to be a Marine Biologist when he grows up to focus on sharks, I finally decided to dig into this whole Saving Sharks Non-Profit idea and why it is so important.
At the time, I had no idea that our ocean’s shark population had declined by 70% since 1970 and was continuing to fall every single day. I had no idea how much that actually impacted our daily lives, the air we breathe and the overall health of our oceans and the impact they have on our entire ecosystem. And I had no idea that sharks are friends, not food!
Researching Sharks in Jacksonville
We began doing as much research as possible on sharks, their habitat. We investigated why they are so important and what is the cause of the drastically declining numbers in sharks as a species. Some of our biggest research outlets were books we found at our local library. We also turned to articles written by Ocearch, as well as MOSH with their various exhibits about Sharks. Did you know that 273 BILLION sharks are killed each year by humans from overfishing, shark finning and “by catch” (sharks killed by accident by commercial fishing boats)? We also found that only 70-80 unprovoked shark attacks happen each year globally. That means that humans are actually more dangerous to sharks than sharks are to us. These are mind blowing facts. As a 90’s kid, raised watching JAWS, I thought for sure it was the other way around.
Launching Saving Sharks Non-Profit
After the research, we we decided to go for it and launch Saving Sharks Non-Profit! We began to think of ways we could support our oceans. As we grow and learn more about them we’re focusing on the importance of minimizing our use of single use plastics. This includes things such as plastic water bottles, plastic bags, straws and utensils. We even went as far as to have a Beach Clean Up this Easter instead of a traditional Easter Egg Hunt!
The Goal of Saving Sharks Non-Profit
Our main goal is to help raise awareness to the importance of sharks. We aim to do that by helping kids and parents learn some simple ways we can all help conserve our oceans. With this we will hopefully see an increase in our shark population. We encourage you to check out some of the local resources we mentioned, as well as attend the upcoming Florida Fin Fest held by Ocearch in Jax Beach September 18th-19th 2021.
Saving Sharks FL is founded by Judson, a Jacksonville Beach 9 year old who loves sharks and supporting local businesses. 100% of his merchandise is sourced locally and 100% of the profits are donated to Ocean Conservation efforts as well as local charities. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook for upcoming events and product releases.