Slater Woods became infested with animals dressed like sharks during Barks for Sharks, an event made to raise awareness about shark finning.
Eckerd’s Scubi Jews hosted the event on Sept. 26. Students brought their dogs, cats, bunnies and even snakes to support the Shark Fin Trade Elimination Act.
According to Scubi Jews Social Media Manager Isabel Lichter, people take sharks out of the ocean, cut off their fins and throw them back into the water where they drown. They use their fins for shark fin soup.
According to Florida’s Constitution Revision Commission website, the commission meets every 20 years and decide which constitutional amendments will be proposed on the General Election ballot.
Scubi Jews wanted to put on a student and animal interactive event to get people passionate about stopping shark finning and changing their perspective of sharks. In Florida it is illegal to fin sharks, but it is not illegal to sell fins or make shark fin soup according to Scubi Jews Community and Outreach Officer Amie Swanbeck.
“Everyone loves dogs, cats, animals and we want to dress them up like sharks to show people that sharks aren't bad and that they never really attack unless they are provoked by humans,” Swanbeck said.
At the event, students could choose from multiple shark costumes to dress their pets in and take pictures. There was also a booth with information on shark finning, and a petition students could sign which will be used to show support for the Shark Fin Elimination Act. Letters will also be sent to congress and senators depending on the zipcode students write on the petition.
“This gives students a voice, so we’re being active,” junior Jayden Heck said.
Florida Gulf Coast Campaign Organizer at Oceana Hunter Miller spoke at the event. Miller explained that people are taking sharks out of the ocean faster than they can reproduce, which puts a strain on the shark population in the ocean.