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Support Shark Conservation This World Oceans Month

It’s that time of the year again when we celebrate the beauty and wonder of the ocean! World Oceans Day is commemorated on June 8 of every year to show our support of marine conservation and educate ourselves (and others) on it. Ultimately, it is a day to simply show our love for the ocean, one of the most important parts of the planet. 

For this year’s World Oceans Month, MAGWAI, in collaboration with the Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines, is shining the spotlight on our beloved sharks. Sharks are often misunderstood as they are usually negatively portrayed in mainstream media. This is all the more reason to learn more about them and protect them. And what better way is there to show our support other than showing them off proudly while going about our daily life?

MAGWAI is excited to launch this limited edition Shark-Themed Beach Towel! This one is special because it comes in new colors outside of the oceanic blue. Here, the beach towel design sports shades of pink and green. The most exciting part? It features none other than the pelagic thresher shark, the blacktip reef shark, and the scalloped hammerhead shark — three species that we are proud to say can be found inhabiting Philippine waters — and they are some of the few sharks protected in the country!

If you think that all sharks look the same, you’d be surprised to find out just how different they can be. Aside from the large fins, many teeth, and mysterious-looking eyes that they all commonly share, these sea creatures have fascinating characteristics that are unique to their own species:

Pelagic Thresher Shark

Notice something unique about these sharks? That’s right, they have massive tails! Thresher sharks are known for their unique, elongated caudal fins, which propel them with a force so strong that it allows them to jump out of the water — making them one of the few, rare sharks that are able to do so. But that’s not the only thing they can do. These fins are also powerful weapons for whipping and stunning prey. As this makes them efficient predators, they help control fish populations, preventing any one species from overproducing and dominating a habitat, thereby promoting and maintaining a balanced ecosystem in the ocean.

Blacktip Reef Shark

While thresher sharks are large in size and can grow to be as long as over thrice that of a human, blacktip reef sharks, on the other hand, are usually quite small in comparison. But for what they may lack in size, they make up in a different unique feature. Blacktip reef sharks are named after the prominent black color found on the tips of almost all their fins.  They are commonly found in the Indo-Pacific region's shallow waters of coral reefs. They prefer warm, tropical waters and can often be seen near the reef edges or in lagoons. With their razor-sharp teeth, they can easily catch prey. This makes the species play a crucial role in maintaining the balance of the coral reef ecosystems. The next time you might go for a dive, keep an eye out for inky black fins and you might just spot these beauties!

Scalloped Hammerhead Shark

Last but definitely not least is the scalloped hammerhead shark. This particular species has the most unique shape of all as it is instantly recognizable by the shape of its head, which, quite literally, resembles a hammer. It is said that this unique shape is thought to enhance their sensory capabilities, therefore making them more skilled at tracking and locating different sorts of prey that may otherwise be difficult to detect by other predators. As such, these sharks occupy a specific ecological niche within the ecosystem. Unlike the blacktip reef shark, which is naturally found in shallow water levels, hammerheads are able to swim as low as 760 meters below the surface. Funnily enough, it is said that some types (like the Scalloped Hammerhead Shark) actually “hold their breath” when diving down to extremely low levels, which are so cold in temperature that even the cold-blooded shark would not survive the heat loss if they continued to breathe through their gills. With its distinct head shape, this is definitely a shark you won’t miss.

Isn’t it amazing how many beautiful creatures can be found inhabiting our very own ocean? Sadly, though, many sharks, let alone many other oceanic species fall victim to harmful human activities that endanger their populations, which is why it is also up to us humans to be aware of what we are doing to harm them and do what we can to protect them.

What is the Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines (MWWP)?

Established in 2010, the MWWP is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to marine wildlife conservation. It focuses on protecting not only sharks but also dolphins, whales, dugongs, rays, and marine turtles. The organization is made up of volunteers who work together to educate and raise awareness of the public on these issues, train individuals on marine life conservation, form policies to improve marine-related activities, and perform consultation work, among others. Learn more about MWWP and its mission by checking out its Facebook page!

According to MWWP, Shark populations are under threat due to poaching activities that harvest their fins, liver oil, and other parts so that these can be sold for consumption, traditional medicine, jewelry, and/or taxidermy. 

Therefore, we invite you to celebrate World Oceans Month with us by spreading your love for any and all things sharks! For every MAGWAI Shark-Themed Towel that you buy, you also donate a percentage to MWWP to support the organization’s shark conservation efforts. 

But that’s not all, MAGWAI’s Quick-Drying Beach Towel Made is also made from 10 recycled post-consumer plastic bottles, yet is still highly absorbent and quick-drying as a bath towel. It is printed with all-natural dye and can accompany you on your journey to mindfulness as its dimensions (24″ x 72″) fit the size of a standard yoga mat. 

When you buy a towel, you contribute not only to protecting our sharks but also to mitigating marine plastic pollution, which is also another big issue that damages our oceans. As a bonus, you get to grab a towel that is useful for any occasion and comes with a vibrant, eye-catching, limited-edition design that’s only available this month!

Come along with us as we work toward making the world a better place for all life to live in — one wave at a time. Happy World Oceans Month!