Tiger Shark

IUCN Red List Status: Near Threatened & Decreasing

Fun Facts:
  • Tiger sharks help to keep the ocean ecosystems healthy and clean by eating dead, diseased, and dying animals.
  • Shark species have been on Earth for 450 million years and have survived 5 mass extinctions.
  • Tiger sharks are named for the dark grey stripes that line the length of their body and fade with age.
  •  The eggs of a female tiger shark are ovoviviparous, meaning the tiger shark embryos develop entirely within the mother, and then hatch immediately upon being laid. Females have an average of 35 pups per litter.
  • Tiger sharks typically live in coastal, shallow waters but have been spotted in water as deep as 1,150ft.
  • Tiger sharks have beautiful large round eyes with irises either grey or amber in color.

Not So Fun Facts:

  • 70-100 million sharks are killed annually by humans for their fins, as bycatch, for their liver oil, and for sport. 
  • Tiger sharks and sharks in general are one of the most misunderstood and misrepresented species on our Earth. The miseducation of the masses through movies and media have created misguided fear of a species who are not monsters, but an essential part of our ecosystem. 
  • As scavengers who are known to eat just about anything, tiger sharks have been and continue to be greatly affected by the extremely high levels of plastic pollution in our oceans.
  • Warming oceans due to the climate crisis has forced shark populations poleward in order to survive; leaving many of them searching for food that has become increasingly scarce.  

How Can I Help Protect Sharks?

  • Recognize that they are NOT monsters, but a beautiful species that deserves your respect and protection, because they are imperative to our survival on Earth just like every other species. 
  • Remember that every experience you have with a wild animal no matter the proximity is an incredible experience that you are privileged to have. 
  • When in the water with tiger sharks or any other type wild animal, respect their space. Do not swim after, touch, grab, poke, or harrass marine life of any kind. When in doubt follow the Golden Rule.
  • Embody this mindset and remind others to respect our oceans and marine life if you find yourself in situations where they are not.
  • If a wild animal wants to get close to you and touches you that is their choice. So, keep your hands to yourself, swim slowly and quietly, be calm and patient.
  • If you witness a shark in distress, entangled, washed up, or dead call your local Fish & Game Department or a local rescue team. Use this link to find the right number to call.
  • Make educated choices as a consumer
    • Support companies and brands that do not support the shark fin trade.
    • Choose ecotourism trips that do not exploit or endanger marine life.
    • If you choose to eat seafood, choose locally sourced and sustainably caught seafood from fisherman who use sustainable and safe fishing gear, and make sure you know exactly what kind of fish you are buying. The app Seafood Watch can help you make educated choices when you visit your local seafood market. 
      • Shark is frequently sold in supermarkets as fish to unsuspecting customers under alias’ like: 
        • Whitefish
        • Flake
        • Dogfish
        • Huss
        • Rock Salmon
        • Ocean Fillet 
        • Surimi (imitation crab)
  • Sign petitions collecting signatures in support of banning shark finning and the shark fin trade.
  • VOTE! Elect local, state and federal officials who are going to: 
    • Implement and vote to pass bills and policies that will protect sharks, ban shark finning and shark fin export practices.
    • Implement both Green and Blue New Deals to protect our environment and combat the climate crisis.
    • Implement bans on single-use plastic.
  • Support local legislation that protects coastal habitats.
  • Support local legislation that protects against unsustainable commercial fishing practices.
  • Use re-usable items instead of disposable plastic ones.
  • Eliminate single-use plastic from your everyday lifestyle.
  • Stop using any kind of inflatable helium balloons - they end up in our oceans and can kill marine life if ingested.
  • Cut up straws, 6-pack can rings, or any bags that could entrap marine life. 
  • Educate yourself about sharks, the climate crisis, the plastic crisis, and commercial fishing bycatch.
  • Go out into the world and educate others!

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