In addition to their fascinating traits, sharks are believed to have existed before trees or dinosaurs. Since then, they have been able to successfully come out of four mass extinction events, but when we look at the numbers today, sharks are being killed in large numbers each year.
Besides killing, the pollution and the climate change are strictly affecting the shark population as many of the shark species are now declared endangered. A steep decline in the shark population has major implications for the marine ecosystem as well as the wider economy. Additionally, sharks don’t reproduce as many offspring as other fish, which makes it very difficult to restore shark populations in the near future.
You need to read out the article why sharks are important to us, in order to understand why we are so concerned about sharks going into extinction.
Knowing the importance of sharks, one thing is clear: the shark’s extinction would result in massive destruction in terms of the economy as well as for the oceans and humanity.
To have a closer look at the situation, learn about what extinction would be like for sharks and why we should work to prevent it. Before we move on to that, let’s have a brief overview of the shark species and its characteristics.
When we think of sharks, a giant-sized fish-type animal comes into our mind, and we often think of them as an aggressive and dangerous species. Since the appearance of the first shark around 420 million years ago, over 500 species have developed since then, and there may be even more varieties yet to discover.
It is commonly believed that all sharks have a huge size, but it’s not true. They come in all different sizes. Dwarf lantern sharks are as small as the size of a human hand, while whale sharks are the largest fish in the world, growing to 60 feet long. Not only the size, but they differ in shape too.
The unique feature of the shark includes the multiple fins they have on their bodies. There are typically five pairs of gill slits in sharks, but some species have up to seven pairs. Sides of the head have gill slits. The use of shark fins is a major reason why sharks are hunted on such a large scale. Aside from that, their meat is also consumed.
Check out here the information about sharks’ habitat and what they eat.
Known for high speed and intelligence, sharks tend to avoid human confrontation, but if provoked, they will severely attack. By nature, not all sharks are aggressive, but only a few species. Do check out the names of the most dangerous sharks. With that said, there are shark species that you can keep as pets.
What if sharks went extinct?
Among ocean’s food web’s keystone species, sharks play a crucial role in preserving its balance; without them, many other species would suffer. With sharks gone, the fish populations would explode, causing a drastic change in the oceans. The sudden boom of fish would cause the food chain to change dramatically.
Moreover, the oceans of the world would be a much different place without sharks. The balance of the oceans would drastically change if shark numbers were to decline.
Aside from the ocean world, the world of land would be disrupted too. What about the people whose major source of income relies on sharks, not to mention the effects it will create on ecotourism.
All in all, the world wouldn’t be the same. What if we wiped out all the sharks? And what if other animals were to follow? It’s a scary thought, isn’t it?
Threat to sharks
As we see that shark extinction will create havoc not only in the underwater world but also on the ground, we must see what the threats to sharks are and if we can do something about it.
Globally, overfishing poses the greatest threat to sharks. There are millions of sharks landed each year as a result of overfishing. Sharks are fished at a large scale for a variety of reasons. Using meat and fins are a few of the main reasons. Aside from that, inadequacies in fisheries management worldwide pose a severe challenge to shark conservation.
Hunting for shark products
Find out the world’s best restaurants here serving you the shark’s meat, fin soup, and other related dishes.
Other than meat and shark fins, you will see sharks’ liver oil being used in a number of products such as moisturizers, lotions, etc. Other than that, sharks’ skin, cartilage, teeth, and jaws are also consumed in many different ways.
Polluting rivers and oceans means putting marine life in danger; unfortunately, humans are responsible for this too. Changing climates, pollution, and habitat destruction are equally responsible for shark population declines.
Sharks are one of the most fascinating and dreaded animals on the earth. They are responsible for keeping the populations of many species of fish in balance, and they occupy very important roles in the marine environment. Unfortunately, many shark populations are in trouble today. They are in danger of becoming extinct, and that would have a significant impact on the ecosystem they inhabit.
The major threat to sharks is humans, and humans are quickly destroying the oceans in different ways; killing sharks massively is one of them.
In a nutshell, for healthy oceans and the world to prosper, you need healthy sharks. So, do play your part in whatever capacity you can that can help prevent sharks’ extinction.