In honor of Shark and Ray Awareness Day, Endangered Species Coalition and partners Oceanic Preservation Society and Canvas of the Wild are launching a new, limited time only, campaign to raise the visibility of our incredible shark and ray species. You can be involved by supporting our Bonfire campaign, featuring a beautiful image of sharks and rays from around the world by artist Kelly Quinn!
We’re teaming up in order to fund the creation of a mural depicting sharks and rays in the mangrove ecosystem by Kelly Quinn, at the SHINE Mural Festival in Florida. The mural will include interactive digital elements and will be the featured mural at the festival, as well as being part of our National Mural Project for the Endangered Species Act 50th Anniversary. The Bonfire shirt sales open today, in recognition of Shark and Ray Awareness Day, July 14th, and close on August 10th.
Sharks and rays are fantastically diverse animals. There are more than 500 species of sharks found in the oceans of the world and more than 630 kinds of rays and skates! While rays cruise the oceans feeding on plankton and small marine animals, sharks are top predators essential to maintaining the balance of all marine life. Each shark species uniquely matches with prey species abundance and diversity. In turn, these relationships have a positive impact on the health of crucial ecosystems like coral reefs. For over 450 million years sharks have thrived in our ocean, but in the last half-century they have faced severe pressures from shark finning and the wasteful practices of the commercial fishing industry.
You can join Endangered Species Coalition and our fantastic partners,to help raise awareness of sharks and rays. Check out Kelly’s shirt design and learn more on our Shark and Ray Awareness Bonfire page!
Kelly Quinn shares more about why she’s using art to call attention to shark species conservation:
“Art is essential to communicating science to people of all ages and contexts, much like the quote, ‘A picture is worth a thousand words.’Sharks have gained a negative stigma thanks to horror movies like Jaws, which paint the picture of a mindless killing machine. The reality is sharks are quite the opposite. From my experiences working with shark researchers and diving with them, they are curious, often shy, and very particular about what’s on the menu and play a vital role in the health of our ocean. Today, I seek to tell their stories so people may understand and respect sharks rather than vilify them.”
We hope you will be inspired by the beauty of the extraordinary shark species featured in this design. Thank you for your purchase, supporting the Endangered Species Act at 50 National Mural Project. With your support, we will be able to create the shark and ray mural in Florida as a lasting reminder of the importance of these animals and of the Endangered Species Act.