July 14 is Shark Awareness Day. Sharks have existed in the ocean for over 400 million years. Sharks are top predators. They remove sick or injured prey and keep fish stocks in check. They are an important part of a healthy ocean ecosystem.

Humans have overfished some species of sharks for meat, fins, and other products. Many sharks have become vulnerable to extinction and some are critically endangered.

We can help conserve sharks in several ways. We can learn about their importance in the ocean. We can practice sustainable fishing techniques. We can protect and restore their ocean habitats.

Some recent stories about sharks from Mongabay Kids

Do movies make us scared of sharks?

Shark researchers analyzed 109 shark movies and showed that all but one of them, Finding Dory, showed sharks as monsters that can attack people. Read more here:

Tiger shark news

In a surprise finding, scientists studying the genetic differences between tiger shark populations found that sharks in the Atlantic and Indo-Pacific ocean basins are genetically distinct. Read more here:

More resources for parents/educators

NOAA: educational videos and resources on sharks

NOAA: shark conservation status & fisheries information

WWF: about sharks

Wikipedia: list of threatened sharks

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