Sharks play an essential rol in the health of our oceans

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Kick-off ‘De BeestenBende’ in Velsen

De BeestenBende is an organisation that organises kids to clean up garbage.11068271
Because the kids in Velsen will also be cleaning up the beach, they could find eggases in the flood line, the Dutch Shark Society was there to teach them about it.

First we told the kids that besides garbage, they can find other cool stuff in the flood line such as seaweed, crabs and shark- and ray eggcases. It comes as a surprise to some people that there are sharks in Dutch waters, but it isn’t something you should worry about. For instance, the biggest shark is the basking shark, which only eats plankton and is no threat to humans.

19389Some sharks even live in the Oosterschelde such as the smoothhound and tope shark. These eat mainly crabs and shrimps, but they aren’t the sharks that lay eggs. The catshark and nursehound are two very similar looking sharks, that lay eggcases. These can be recognised by their curly ends, with the nursehound eggcases being larger than those of the catshark. All ray species except for the stingray lay eggs in Dutch waters. They can be recognised by their horns, the shape differing for each species. Unfortunately the sharks and rays of the world aren’t doing well. This is because of their slow reproduction, overfishing and destruction of their habitat. Luckily everyone can do something to help, such as eating sustainable fish, not buying products made of sharks and rays and cleaning up garbage like the kids from De Beestenbende are doing.11262324

There is something else you can do, which is helping out with the research into sharks and rays. If you find an eggcase on the beach, you can use the flyer of the Great Eggcase Hunt to determine which species laid the egg. You can enter the location and the species on which will go into a database. We can use the information to find out where certain species live and how many of them are there.

After the kids learned all about the eggcases they got the chance to search for them on the beach and determine the species that laid them. This was obviously a big succes! Obviously the beach got cleaned that afternoon too and we enjoyed spending the day with these enthousiastic kids!

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