Sacred Heart College students enter shark tank of learning

Shark biologist Amanda Elizabeth with Year 11 students Maddie Hunter, Jayde Elders and Sarah Sundquist.
Shark biologist Amanda Elizabeth with Year 11 students Maddie Hunter, Jayde Elders and Sarah Sundquist.

SORRENTO students have been learning how to help save sharks.

During National Science Week, shark biologist Amanda Elizabeth visited Year 10 and 11 marine science students at Sacred Heart College to talk about her work in shark conservation.

Ms Elizabeth has launched the Fin Free Soup program, encouraging consumers to support restaurants in WA that do not serve or support shark fin soup.

These restaurants display the Fin Free logo and her website lists more than 230 eateries that do not serve the dish.

The project has now expanded to Victoria, ACT, NSW, London and New York.

“There are a lot of myths about sharks and this was a great way for the students to discover the facts from someone who has researched them,” science teacher John Ryan said.

“The students were surprised to learn about all aspects of their lives, including how some change their skin colour, some sharks walk on the sea floor and some sharks get cancer.”

The students watched videos about some of the shark research Ms Elizabeth did at UWA and learnt about shark biology and their behaviour and about finning, where the fins are removed from live sharks which are then thrown back in to the ocean and left to die.

Year 11 student Jayde Elders said she was surprised to learn that so many sharks were killed every year.

“Finning is so pointless and wasteful; it should be illegal in more countries and people shouldn’t be able to buy shark fins at all,” she said.