‘Shark Finning Should Stop’: a Letter from the Next Generation


April 17, 2016
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The Youth Education department at the Houston Museum of Natural Science received an unexpected letter last month from a concerned elementary school student named Octavia. She takes a stand against shark finning, an issue weighing heavily on the hearts of many around the world, and her letter is proof that we will certainly pass the environmental concerns of our generation on to the next.

When young people get involved in conservation, it secures the future of the planet. Youth Education was ecstatic to receive the letter, and hopes it will inspire more young people to consider the profound affect humanity has on the Earth’s environment. Here’s the full text of Octavia’s letter:

Octavia Letter

The letter arrived on Youth Education Curator of Collections Julia Russell’s birthday, so her colleagues passed the letter along to her. A “shark nut” by reputation, she embraced the letter as a welcome surprise.

“Sharks are a vital part of our ocean’s ecosystems,” Julia said, “but it’s hard to get people to warm up to these apex predators when they have such toothy grins. I’m so excited that there are young scientists out there, like Octavia, who are eager to educate people about shark conservation!”

Here’s Julia’s response, with information from Wildlife Teacher and Caretaker Melissa Hudnall:

Octavia Letter Response

Naturally, we’d love to see other students and adults get involved. Visit the OCEARCH web site to track shark migrations across the Earth’s five oceans, and visit the Texas State Aquarium to look into the lives of our oceanic cousins. Spread the word for Octavia; kids can make a difference!

Authored By Jason Schaefer

Jason is the Marketing and PR Manager for HMNS and a man of many hats. Over the years, he has been a wedding band saxophonist, a portrait studio photographer, a newspaper journalist, a sixth-grade teacher, a college instructor, a compost salesman, and a rock climbing guide, but his greatest dream is to publish novels. He could pronounce “euoplocephalus” and “rhamphorynchus” before his parents could.



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