Sharks play an essential rol in the health of our oceans


Kick-off De BeestenBende in Velsen

De BeestenBende is an organisation that organises kids to clean up garbage in clubs.11068271
Because the kids from Velsen will be cleaning up on the beach toom they might find other things in the flood line, like shark- and ray eggcases. This is why the Dutch Shark Society was invited to tell the kids about the Great Eggcase Hunt.

First we told the kids that besides garbage, they can find other stuff in the flood line, such as seaweed, crabs and eggcases. For a lot of people it comes as a surprise that sharks occur in Dutch waters, but it isn’t something to worry about. There are a lot of different species of sharks and the biggest one for instance is the basking shark, that eats plankton only and isn’t dangerous to humans at all!

19389Some sharks even live in the Oosterschelde, such as the smoothhound and the tope shark. These sharks eat crabs and shrimps, but these aren’t the sharks that lay eggs. Those would be the catshark and nursehound, two benthic sharks that look alike a lot with their spots. The eggcases can be recognised by the curled ends, and the eggcases of the nursehound are bigger than those of the catshark.  All ray species in Dutch waters lay eggs, except for the stingray. These eggcases can be recognised by their horns and the shape differs per species. Unfortunately the sharks and rays of the world are in trouble because of their slow reproduction, overfishing and destruction of habitat to name a few. Luckily everyone can help by eating sustainable fish, not buying products made from sharks and rays and obviously cleaning up garbage like De BeestenBende is doing!11262324

And there is another thing you can do to help, which is helping out with the research into sharks and ray. When you find an eggcase on the beach, you can use our flyer of the Great Eggcase Hunt to find out which species laid the egg. You can enter the location and the species on after which it is added to a database. Using this information, we can find out where certain species occur and how often.

After the kids learned about eggcases, they got the chance to look for them on the beach and determine the species using the flyer. Obviously this was a big succes! And most importantly, a lot of garbage was cleaned from the beach that afternoon. We loved spending the day with these enthousiastic kids!

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