Sharks

 

Shark’s ocean role

Sharks play a vital role in the ocean. They feed on ill and injured animals that helps gene pools and ensures that healthy individuals produce the next generation. Removing sharks disturbs the balance of an ecosystem and negatively affects other species. When sharks were overfished in Australia, the octopus population increased, which dramatically lowered the lobster population.

Perils for sharks

There are many shark species that are threatened with extinction. Out of more than 400 species of sharks, over 100 species have been severely overfished. It is estimated that over 70 million sharks are caught each year, their fins removed, and their bodies are thrown back in the water. These fins are used in Asia for shark fin soup. Sharks are also threatened by:

  • Entanglement in fishing nets and lines
  • Trash ingestion
  • Pollution that include oil spills and agricultural and mining runoff
  • Bycatch as part of fishing operations
  • Climate change