Why Sharks Need Your Help

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Why sharks need your help

Great White Shark - courtesy nbc news
Great White Shark – courtesy nbc news

Jaws has more to fear than humans

It may come as a shock for you to hear that many species of shark are close to extinction. Many may consider this a good thing, fewer dangerous man-killers in the oceans? The media has taught us to fear these creatures, and they are frequently portrayed as bloodthirsty monsters. This makes it uncomfortable to consider putting in any effort to save them sharks from vanishing off the face of the planet. The fact is that a human is more likely to be killed by a lightening strike than by a shark!

In 2008, 4 people worldwide died as the result of a shark bite, while 49 died due to dog bites. In fact only 5% of all shark species have ever been known to attack humans, so the vast majority of are completely harmless to us. Sharks are truly spectacular creatures, and sadly they have become our prey. These creatures are misunderstood and are in dire need of our help.

Oceanic Implications

We are all aware of the damage that humans are wreaking on the planet. It is no surprise to learn that pollution is being dumped in the ocean and is changing it’s very chemistry, temperature and biodiversity. This is happening far too quickly to enable sea life to evolve, and is creating problems that we cannot begin to comprehend.

Sharks are the apex predators of the oceans, they are crucial to keeping marine life in healthy balance. The ocean is our largest and most important ecosystem, and we are throwing it into chaos with the destruction of the shark population. The ocean provides 1/3 of our world with food. It produces tonnes of oxygen and absorbs carbon dioxide. It plays a vital role in our climate and atmosphere.

Removing sharks seriously disrupts the balance of this crucial ecosystem. Studies have reported the annihilation of the shellfish industry in waters off the mid-Atlantic for example, due to an increase in their predators (cow-nose rays), who would usually be kept in check by sharks. This pattern is becoming the norm with mid-level predators decimating smaller fish, who play a vital role in cleaning up the coral and other habitats.

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