Fintastic Friday: Giving Sharks a Voice
(Also known as Fintastic Friday: Giving Sharks, Skates, and Rays a Voice)
Fintastic Friday: Giving Sharks a Voice is observed next on Friday, May 12th, 2023 (49 days from today).
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Fintastic Friday is a great chance to bring awareness and encourage advocacy to protect elasmobranchs.
Fintastic Friday: Giving Sharks a Voice is also known as Fintastic Friday: Giving Sharks, Skates, and Rays a Voice on the second Friday in May (since 2011).
History of Fintastic Friday: Giving Sharks a Voice
Fintastic Friday: Let the Sharks Speak was created by WhaleTimes, with help from the Shark Research Institute. WhaleTimes director Ruth Musgrave got the idea for the day she wrote everything about Sharks. She thinks the view on sharks should be updated, as their survival is essential to the survival of all ocean species. She believes they need a new voice and the kids can be that voice. Rather, it's a day to celebrate and raise awareness about sharks, and is geared towards children. It encourages them to get involved in shark conservation efforts and helps change the public's view of sharks - from fear to appreciation and from hate to love. Not only is it a day dedicated to sharks, but also to other predators like rays and skates.
How to celebrate Fintastic Friday: Giving Sharks a Voice
The day's creators aim to get kids to help the sharks by encouraging them to let others know they care. They suggested the following ways for children to celebrate the day:
- Post shark conservation signs to turn certain areas into "shark sanctuaries".
- Draw your favorite shark, skateboard or ray. Try to make it as old as possible, sign it and have your friends sign it. Then send it to your favorite scientists to thank them for the work they did to save the sharks. Some of the scientists who have dedicated their lives to sharks are listed further below.
- There's a "Sharks in the Park" party. Use your voice and a sign and join a rally. Create your own "Sharks in the Park Rally Sign".
- Join the "Fintastic Friday Fin Pledge".
- Create some awesome WhaleTimes shark artwork.
WhaleTimes suggests children learn about some of the people working to save sharks. Some scientists and some "citizen scientists" that WhaleTimes recommends you get to know include:
- Dr David Ebert of the Pacific Shark Research Center has identified many of the world's 520 sharks and has also traveled the world in search of missing sharks.
- Rachel Graham is related to MarAlliance.
- Dr. Dean Grubbs of Florida State University's Sea and Coast Laboratory spends most of his focus on deep-sea sharks.
- Dr. Johann Mourier is involved in the Laboratory of Fish Behavior, Ecosystems and Evolution and has done other research on sharks.
- Jackie and Graham Hall created the Manx Basking Shark Watch because the basking sharks off the Isle of Man were not studied or protected.
- Jason Holmberg, along with other scientists, has created software that can identify whale sharks by their spotting patterns. Then they created whaleshark.org, which collects pictures of whales.
Another idea for children on this day might be to have them read one of Ruth Musgrave's books, such as Mission: Shark Rescue or Everything Sharks.
There's no reason why grown-ups can't celebrate the holidays. One way to do so might be to join a shark conservation group. You can also read a book about sharks or watch a documentary about them and share with others what you have learned.
ObservedFintastic Friday: Giving Sharks a Voice has been observed the second Friday in May.
Friday, May 14th, 2021
Friday, May 13th, 2022
Friday, May 12th, 2023
Friday, May 10th, 2024
Friday, May 9th, 2025