Sharks have been a key part of the fishing industry in some countries, and this cannot be overlooked. But the fact that sharks are killed every year in large numbers can affect them heavily. Fishermen whose only source of income depends on fisheries are particularly vulnerable and the country’s economy at large. But do we have an estimate of how many sharks are killed a year? Well, it’s important to look into it, and we will just explore it right here.
As portrayed in most Hollywood shark thriller movies, we see sharks as a threat to human lives, but it’s not exactly how it is. When we look at numbers, we see that shark attacks rarely occur, and most of them are provoked cases. Despite that, only a few cases were reported to be fatal. On the other hand, when it comes to how many sharks are killed, the number is huge.
Not only that, but sharks are also killed to get the most famous shark fin soup, let alone their meat and oil. But do we have an exact number? Let’s see below.
How many sharks are killed in a year?
As per the research conducted by concerned authorities, at least 1.4 million tons of sharks are estimated to be killed annually, or in other words, you can say 100 million sharks per year.
It’s such a huge number that we must look into what causes so many deaths. Isn’t it affecting the overall population? And whether or not we have to take measures to stop such massive killing.
Before we move forward, let’s explore why sharks are killed in such large numbers.
Why are sharks killed massively?
One hundred million sharks a year is enormous, and when we compare it to data on how many humans are killed by sharks, it’s negligible. As per the official reports, six to eight humans at max are killed by sharks a year. It’s vital to look for the reasons so that it doesn’t result in a disproportion.
Let’s get down into it and see what causes a large number of shark deaths.
When it comes to fishing, fishes are not the only target, but whatever comes in the nest. Moreover, shark nets are also used to specifically capture dangerous sharks. There are several reasons shark fishing is done. They are caught, for example, for the purpose of saving endangered species from becoming shark food.
Other than that, shark fishing is done for the purpose of getting their skin, fins, meat, and oil. Shark fin soup is popular around the world, and people spend huge bucks to taste the flavor. Additionally, their skin is used largely for the production of leather products, and it proves to be durable and long-lasting.
As also discussed above, from their meat to the fins, the oil you get from the shark’s liver is also considered valuable, and it is one of the reasons why sharks are killed in such a large number.
The shark’s oil is rich in minerals and is used for multiple purposes. Besides fin soup, their meat is also eaten in a number of ways. Have you tried shark steaks? If not, you must try it today.
Having high monetary value, shark fins are not only used for soups but, as mentioned earlier, for the production of leather products. Shark finning is the process in which the fins are removed, and the body is discarded after that.
Considered the shark’s most valuable part, shark finning allows fishers to increase their profit to a great extent. Certain countries, however, have banned this practice and require that the whole shark is retrieved before the fins are removed.
Impacts of shark deaths
Has a large number of deaths affected the ecosystem, or is it normal? Surely it creates a negative impact. Taking large numbers of sharks from the ocean disrupts the natural order of other species, which are sharks’ natural prey.
Furthermore, the feeding habits of sharks help regulate the marine population since they go after sick fish. But, when you kill sharks massively, it will result in a weak marine population resulting in ecosystem instability.
Are there steps taken to lower the shark killing?
In order to preserve the health of our oceans and, ultimately, our blue planet, we need to protect sharks. Shark kills have reached such alarming levels that most countries have enacted regulations around the coasts and in ports to combat this phenomenon. Legislations are being made in order to minimize the number and to protect various shark species.
With every passing day, more and more organizations and NGOs are taking a stand to save sharks’ lives across the world.
Whether you like sharks or not, they are vital for the ecosystem and have a major role. But when you analyze the figures, you see that 100 million sharks are exterminated every year. That’s an alarming number for sure. However, more people are joining the cause to save lives and to prevent shark finning specifically. While you enjoy the fin soup, do share this article so that everyone knows about it.