Sharks Are Friends Not Food

Hammerhead+shark
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Sharks Are Friends Not Food

Hammerhead shark

Hammerhead shark

Hammerhead shark

Hammerhead shark

Morgan Amos

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Man-eating shark or shark-eating man? Today more and more different types of sharks are becoming endangered. The main causes for shark endangerment are due to shark finning and getting caught in fishing gear. A lot of people who eat shark fin soup or throw their nets into the ocean don’t think twice about the effect it can have on sharks. Without sharks, there would be a negative affect on our ecosystem.

According to See The Wild, the top three sharks that are, or close to becoming endangered are: the whale shark; who isn’t yet endangered but vulnerable, the manta ray, and the hammerhead shark.

Commercial finning is a practice where sharks are caught and their fins are cut off. Then the body of the shark is discarded. This practice has estimated to kill over 100 million sharks globally every year. The fins of the sharks are used to make an Far Eastern delicacy, shark fin soup. According to The Shark Trust, 26-73 million shark fins are traded worldwide each year.

Fishing for sharks and finning aren’t the only factors that are involved in the endangerment of sharks. Their population has also decreased because of habitat degradation, climate change, and pollution. Sharks depend on a healthy ecosystem in order to survive. The Discovery Channel says that toxic chemicals can enter the food chain, accumulate in sharks’ bodies, and can lead to shark immune system disorders and other health problems.

Sharks cannot bounce back from a major population loss. This is because of their slow growth rates and long gestation periods. The shortest gestation period for a shark is 5 months for the bonnethead shark, which is still relatively long compared to the gestation period of other sharks.

The decline of sharks has become more apparent over the past few years. Sharks play a major role especially due to them being at the top of the oceanic food chain. Hopefully more people will realize the negative effects that will happen if more and more sharks become endangered.

 

 

 

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