Our lives depend on sharks

It’s time we change our thinking about these ocean predator and stepped up to try and protect them as much as we can. Right now, the biggest threat to their existence is us; and we depend on them to survive more than we may know

Humans are more of a threat to sharks than sharks are to humans. Here’s the really scary bit, fisheries and trawler fishing nets remove about 100 million sharks from our oceans annually. And we need sharks, we really do- the health of our oceans is dependent on them playing their role in the oceanic ecosystem. Sharks truly demonstrate the old wisdom of ‘the survival of the fittest’ by preying on the ocean’s most vulnerable, weak and diseased. By preying on the weakest, they are removing them from the gene pool thereby helping to strengthen fish stocks and oceanic environments. They act like the genetic cleaners of the seas because they consume the dead, the dying, the weak and the injured therefore leaving the strongest and healthiest marine life to continue. Genetically this means that the weaker gene pools are being taken out of the equation and the stronger ones are being passed on thereby becoming stronger, more robust, adaptive and healthier.

Removing sharks altogether would be an unspeakable environmental catastrophe -as it is 100 million sharks are lost annually as a result of human activity, more specifically through mass fishing. Many studies are saying that the ultimate decimation of sharks would have such a great knock-on effect that it would alter our very existence as humans. If that is not a wake-up call, then I don’t know what is. By altering the balance of the oceans, we will in turn affect the air that we breathe- as up to 80% of the air we breathe comes from the oceans. You tip the scales one way and we will feel it.

Globally, 11000 sharks are being killed every hour: that’s 3 sharks every second. That is huge and it’s due to humans. Fishing records report that today over 90% of sharks have been severely depleted and over 33% of all large sharks (yes, Great Whites) have been wiped out.

We need to rethink the way we think about sharks, if not just for the sake our very existence

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