Sharks play a vital role in keeping our oceans ecosystem in balance. Brian Skerry, award-winning photojournalist, sums this up perfectly in an inspiring piece on why shark conservation is important. Shark. The word alone evokes a primal response in humans. Peter Benchley once commented that when he wrote his novel Jaws, he unknowingly tapped into some primal fear that exists within people a fear of being eaten by another animal. Beachgoers on Cape Cod may have been channeling Benchley in recent weeks, as great white sharks have once again been sighted near Chatham, dredging up that thrilling mix of fear and fascination that sharks seem to evoke. While no one wants to see a shark swimming next to their boogie board, the reality is that the likelihood of being bitten by a shark is infinitesimal. And, as Benchley observed in the years following, sharks have far more to fear from us than we do from them. I swam with my first shark in the 1980s. I was 20 miles off the coast of Rhode Island, working with a group of marine scientists. Late in the day, a 5-foot long blue shark swam into our chum slick. For the next hour I marveled at the animals stunning indigo color and the elegant way she moved effortlessly through the sea. I was hooked, addicted to sharks. Since then, I have spent a great deal of time in the company of sharks in waters around the globe and, as recently as last week, right here in New England, where I photographed blue sharks and basking sharks. For a photographer, sharks are a stirring subject, possessing a perfect blend of grace and power. They have been sculpted by evolution and are ideally suited for whichever ecosystem they inhabit, from coral reefs to the open ocean. During decades of exploring underwater and spending time with sharks, I have learned to appreciate how critical they are to the health of the oceans. I have also seen that they are being decimated at alarming rates and desperately need our help.
On Cape Cod, great white shark stocks have been growing, or at least becoming more concentrated, because of the multiplying numbers of seals around Monomoy Island. We are fortunate to have such abundance of these sharks in our own waters. Around the globe, we are killing in excess of 100 million sharks each year. As apex predators that is, predators that lack natural predators of their own sharks play a vital role in the health of ocean ecosystems. Yet, in the last six decades, we have lost an estimated 90 percent of shark populations to our own predatory behaviors like overfishing and finning sharks for shark fin soup. Remove the predators, and the whole ecosystem begins to crash. As the sharks disappear, the predator-prey balance dramatically shifts, and the health of our oceans declines. Since the majority of the oxygen we breathe comes from the ocean, not to mention much of the worlds protein, it is not an exaggeration to say that when our oceans health declines, our very survival is at risk. I believe it is time for a new ethic a new view of the sea and its inhabitants. Like lions and tigers, sharks are predators and must be respected. As human populations increase and more people take to the sea for recreation, we must be vigilant about how our own activities interact with wild animals. We should not view sharks as villains or perpetuate the myth of them as monsters. And although the majority of sharks killed are caught on long lines and in gill nets, I believe the time has passed for individuals posing like dragon-slayers next to a dead shark they have caught. I have the greatest respect for the skill of fishers, but killing sharks should not be celebrated, given how important they are to us. So with sharks making headlines once again, we should pause to consider the value of these misunderstood animals.
Lets take our curiosity and intrigue about sharks to the next level and seek to learn even more about them. Awareness will be followed by concern, followed by conservation. Brian Skerry Article Source:
i think that all sharks are AWESOME,including great whites. and, they are not the killers they are often described as. in fact you are more likely to be attacked by a COW than you are a shark. but when they DO attack, they are just defending their turf. so i say that who ever is protecting the should keep up the good work Awesome! Wow this is cool! I didn\’t know these! the facts are so true the website helped me in summer school and i got an a+ for my grade about great white sharks. Very interesting notes Im writing a paper and yalls facts really helped me and now Im really interested in great white sharks! I LOVE GREAT WHITE SHARKS!!! shaaaaaarks! IM STUDDING PENGUINS! SHARKS EAT PENGUINS i used dis for school its great bruh. DOOKEY coooooooooooooooooooooooooool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 so cool and educaitonal! Thanks for sharing this for me!!! It helped me to do my On-Demand!!! THANK YOU!!! This is AWESOME!!! This helped me in my On-Demand!!! Thank You!!! I am exited for new blog!!! Thanks for the helpful note. didnt really use many facts but oh well thank you for helping. Can a great white sense emotion from humans, AKA Emotional intelligence? Cool! I LOVE SHARKS!!!!!! Amazing! I am sorry for puting three comments,I didnt mean to. Everyone else on this commenting I am sorry for puting two of one comment, I didnt mean to. i am shocked!!!! i am shocked!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Nice! Thanks for the info. Used it for school! Great Info! Thanks!! Awesome! cool! happy wheels! awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVED THE INFORMATION I ADORE THE GREAT WHITE SHARK its because i love science,biology,solar system,and this article THATS SO COOL! I WISH I WAS A GREAT WHITE SHARK! Great White Sharks are epic awesome and my favourite animal and to any shark cullers out there, we are invading their ocean and do not kill SHARKS!!
Love great white and all sharks can you do a video about turtle tho? Sharks are incredible! They are some of my fave animals (after squids). Unfortunately, like so many incredible things, they are endangered by humans who use their fins in shark fin soup. I think this should be stopped! This shark is cool! I love sharks! I love animals! Sharks are one of my favourites. I love how they change teeth so often! This was very interesting. OMG! SO COOL Youre ten times likely to be struck by lightening then to be attacked by a Great White Shark. #ILOVESHARKS!!! i love sharks! This helped me so much with my homework thanks so much. I will use your blog every time from now onwards. Did you know that 100 million sharks are killed each year? 100 million. This is mostly due to overfishing and finning, to cater for very high demand of an Asian delicacy, called Shark Fin Soup. Cool facts about Great Whites! Great facts! AWESOME!!!! # No. 1 cool!!!! wow it was so interesting! cool!!! my favorite animal in the sea is the great white shark. they are the best animal in the world to me. Awesome! omgomgomg!!!!!! so cool you guys are legit I love learning about sharks because it is for my school homework. Sharks are really Scary!!! AHH!! Sharks are awesome! COOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! cool! i never new they had 10 sick! I love sharks, especially great whites! im a scuba diver in training any tips would be great thanks guys!!!! If great white sharks need help then we should help them. If there is a way then we should try it. Remembering also to have a plan B. wow!!!!!!! cool. thats cool! chomp!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG wow. amazing Weird Facts!