Shark Week: Protecting our sharks

In 2015, 98 shark “attacks” took place world wide. Out of those 98 incidents, 6 of those bitten by sharks died.

Also in 2015, 100 million human “attacks” on sharks took place world wide. Out of those 100 million incidents, 100 million of those sharks, attacked by humans, died.

Phrases like “shark attack,” and pop culture regularly referencing classic shark movies like “Jaws,” media has created a widespread fear of sharks.

What’s the catch?

Sharks are an important part of our environment! Removing sharks from our oceans would create problems in our food and clean air sources.

Sharks, often referred to as “apex” predators, don’t have many natural predators. Apex predators feed on animals that fall below the food chain, which helps maintain the marine life’s ecosystem.

In a comparison of areas with and without apex predators like sharks, studies have shown that those areas with apex predators produce greater biodiversity in the marine life.

Without those apex predators, there is often “unchecked predation” by lower predatory species, which results in the over consumption of vegetation by herbivores and an increased competition between other species, sometimes affecting the abundance of that species in the system.

How do I make sure sharks are safe?

Here are a few organizations that are working to keep our oceans and sharks safe:

Shark Savers

Oceana

Stop Shark Finning

Shark Rescue

Shark Trust

Shark Research Institute 

Marine Conservation Organizations

Shauna Willetts