100 Reasons Project - Shortfin Mako Shark

The #100reasonsproject is back! I took a long break from the original project and decided to revive it in something that is more my style. While I love painting with watercolors, I feel its not quite the right medium for what I’d like to put together. It felt more fitting to create a series of images with a message in ink.

In this day and age, marine animals are facing more human-caused threats than ever. Threatened species are classified as vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered. My goal for this project is to raise awareness for 100 of these species.

The first species in the spotlight is the shortfin mako shark. One of the biggest threats these sharks face is overfishing- both direct fishing and as becoming bycatch. Their populations are estimated to have declined by a staggering 48% since 1986. Makos are slow to mature and reproduce, which makes it difficult for them to recover from depletion.

threatened species shortfin mako shark illustration in ink

Globally, makos are a highly sought after species. Shark fisheries target them for fins for massive shark fin soup trade, meat for consumption, and other derivatives for supplements and cosmetic products. These sharks also face the other big threat of becoming bycatch- or unintended catch of other fishing operations (long line and driftnet). 
Between 1580 and 2017 (437 years!) the International Shark Attack Files (ISAF) records only 9 incidents of makos negatively interacting with humans. This species generally won’t approach human and do not target us as prey. 
Sharks have so much more to fear from us than we do from them.

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