“Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.” – Marie Curie
Sharks are disappearing without us noticing or caring. They are facing extinction. Some species are over 90% extinct.
More than 100 million sharks are killed per year. There is no global protection of sharks – there is no where we can ensure sharks can escape the slaughter. And even in our protected areas, there aren’t enough resources to patrol and keep our sharks safe.
This is complicated by the fact that people don't know about the issue or don't care about sharks because they don't realize how amazing – and critical – they are. Sharks are consistently misrepresented in the media as bloodthirsty and insatiable enemies of mankind, inspiring irrational fear in every body of water. This irrational fear has resulted in a lack of sympathy or concern for what we believe to be an important and grand animal.
Sharks have been in the oceans for over 400 million years, forming the life that has evolved within the seas. As predators at the top of the food chain, they play a critical role in maintaining the health of the ocean ecosystem. We have already witnessed the complete collapse of mollusk fisheries in Chesapeake Bay and the death of much of the coral in Belize both due to the cascading domino effects when sharks were removed from those fragile ecosystems. There is no telling what far-reaching effects we may experience if we remove sharks from our oceans, but the thought terrifies me. The oceans are our life support system: they control our climate, they provide our food and they generate 70% of the oxygen we breathe and remove 70% of carbon dioxide – the global warming gas.
Sharks are prey – not predators. At this point, up to 90% of key shark species have been destroyed but the demand for is still at an all time high fueled by greed. Even our marine reserves are the target of illegal shark fisheries.
If we don’t act now, we are going to lose our sharks – and our oceans – our life support systems on this planet. Everyone needs to be aware of this situation – and everyone needs to join the fight. We can save our sharks by coming together in a grass roots movement and turning our passion into action.