Shark Resource Collection

Learn about one of the ocean’s top predators—sharks—and their critical role in maintaining the marine ecosystem. This collection features NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries resources for everyone to explore NOAA’s efforts to research and conserve shark populations, how sharks support the sanctuary system, and more.

From left to right: Shark swimming towards the right above a shipwreck, a school of fish.


Sharks, a species that has existed for more than 400 million years, exist throughout our world’s ocean with more than 450 species of shark in total. Most sharks are apex predators and sit at the top of the food chain. They play a vital role in keeping the ecosystem healthy by feeding on animals that are lower in the food chain.

Hand drawing of a group of different species of sharks.

Posters & Activities

Utilize these interactive activities and an assortment of readily available posters, coloring pages, and other resources for students to learn and gain a better understanding of sharks, the impacts sharks face, and the role we have in protecting them.

From left to right: Two divers with a trail of bubbles above them, a shark swimming, a diver swimming backwards with a bright yellow tank.

Shark Elementary Collection

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the National Marine Sanctuary System, the best of the best educational materials for an elementary school audience have been compiled in collaboration with the National Park Trust. This collection focuses on sharks.

A shark swimming closely on top of a barren reef.


The National Marine Sanctuaries Webinar Series provides educators, students, and the interested public with educational and scientific expertise, resources, and training to support ocean and climate literacy. Take a look at the shark-curated webinars ranging from discussing population changes of sharks to specific species and even sharks in movies.

Shark swimming from right to left in a colorful diverse coral reef with fish in the background.


Want to encounter sharks through the comfort of your own screen? Dive into the NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries’ video collection of various shark species from across the country and learn about sharks in the sanctuary system, shark research, and more.

A young boy with blonde hair, a gray long sleeve shirt and a YMCA Basketball blue jersey, and a virtual reality headset on with the Earth Is Blue logo.

Virtual Reality

Come along and explore with green sea turtles (honu) as they take you around Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. Learn how Hawaii's volcanic islands were formed, swim with whitetip reef sharks, and watch your new turtle friends kick back and relax at the turtle spa.

Two sharks laying on orange corals with dark reefs in the background.

Species Spotlight

Have a favorite shark species or want to learn more about rare shark types you may not have heard about? Check out the Species Spotlight Section for resources on every type of shark!

Wildlife viewing guidelines poster.

Wildlife Viewing Guidelines

Encountering sharks can be a unique opportunity! For their safety as well as yours, please follow these guidelines: give wildlife plenty of space, be aware of local regulations, and use your zoom lens or binoculars if you want that close-up view!

From left to right: A bird with its wings up about to take off, a shark with its mouth open swimming right behind the bird.

Web Stories

Many of our national marine sanctuaries are home to a variety of shark species with scientists eagerly working to learn more about them and working to ensure they are protected for future generations. Read up on the various work of our team including sharks that call sanctuaries home, shark and ocean stewardship, the relationship between sharks and marine ecosystems, and more.

A great white shark swimming from the left to the right towards the surface of the water with a few fish in the background.

Additional Materials

Do you want even more information on this special species? Look here for fun facts, past events, and magazine articles about sharks to become a shark specialist!