Overfishing Sharks

I am interested in this topic because I like learning about marine life. The overfishing of sharks is creating a domino-effect on the other marine species. There is a global demand for shark fin soup, and their meat. Their numbers have started declined in the past few decades. They have been around ever since 400 million, since the first dinosaurs arrived on Earth. They play an important role in maintaining food webs.

  The fisherman’s long line can include 50 miles of line and has 1,200 baited hooks. Anglers target certain types of sharks like threshers, short fin mako, blue and porbeagle sharks for their fins and meat. Oceanic sharks are particularly at risk from over fishing because they are caught in international waters where there are no limits on the amount of sharks taken. Sharks are top predators, so when their populations crash, their ecosystems become less healthy.

Shark fin soup is very popular in Japan and China. When fisherman go fishing and they catch the sharks they cut off the fins and then they throw the bodies back into the water, often alive where they suffer a terrible death. In some areas sharks have declined 90%. According to the marine conservation organization Oceana, Hong Cong imports up to 10 million kilograms of shark fins, representing up to 73 million sharks every year. Shark fin soup sells for 100 dollars a bowl in some places. One of the main species that are targeted is the hammerhead shark. They are one of the most commonly traded sharks into the Hong Cong market.

In the Caribbean, overfishing sharks triggers a domino effect .It changes an abundance that carries several fish species and contributes to the overall degradation of the reef ecosystem. Coral reefs need sharks to thin out the population of fish. If this doeas not happen there will be too much fish and little food for them. Then they will die and other species that depend on them will die too.

Because of Sharks being overfished it has created a domino effect. Since there are less predators (sharks) for the cownose rays. there are more of them and they eat mollusks and clams. They have been eating them and there has been a decline in mollusks and clams in the markets. This is not good for our market.

In conclusion it would not be the best for the ocean environment and for our environment if we keep overfishing sharks like we are now. This would start a huge domino effect. It would effect the ocean and the people and animals on land. Plus it is not very healthy for the ocean when fisherman cut off the sharks fins and send the carcass back into the ocean still alive, this is also very cruel to the shark. This is why I think shark overfishing is not the best for everyone, even if they are yummy.

 Why is there such a demand on shark fins?

Why do the fisherman not use the body of the shark?

Why wouldnt they kill the shark before releasing it back in the ocean, that would at least let the shark go in peace?

 Overfishing Shark video 



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