Great Hammerhead Shark Great hammerhead sharks are the largest species of hammerhead sharks reaching up to 17 feet in length. They are different from other hammerheads because of their length, they have a straighter and wider hammer than most, and their back fin looks more like a dorsal fin. Most weigh about 200-500 pounds and females get even heavier than this when they are pregnant..
Feeding The Great Hammerhead Shark feeds on all kinds of ocean animals. These include crab, squid, octopus, lobster, many types of bony fish, smaller sharks, and can even be cannibalistic. The most interesting prey though is the stingray for which it formed its hammer. They approach stingrays on the ocean floor and pin them to the ground, then rotate around and bites off both dorsal fins. This immobilizes the ray and then, the shark feeds. They think that they made the hammer adaptation for hunting and to possibly increase the range of their Ampullae of Lorenzini and to increase the range of sight.
Importance The Great Hammerhead Shark is important to the Asians for the shark fin soup. They think that it prevents cancer, is good for the heart, enhances skin quality, lungs, bones, boots energy, lower cholesterol, and many more things. With people thinking they are this important to their health they don’t care that it is being way over fished.
Human Effect Great Hammerhead Sharks like many others are being threatened by illegal shark fishing. This is partly because the Asians enjoy their shark fin soup, usually some parts of the shark that could be used for other important things but all but the fins are thrown away. Sometimes the skin is saved for leather, the liver oil for vitamins, and the body meat for fish meal. Even though they aren’t commonly poaching sharks fisherman in the Gulf of Mexico and North-western Atlantic have reduced the population there by over 50% through by catch. When stuck in by catch the Great Hammerheads usually suffer an over 90% mortality rate.
Cont. The Great Hammerhead Shark is an endangered species that is protected. This doesn’t stop the poachers that continue to kill them. They have 55 pups every 2 years and can live up to 20-30 years. With fishermen killing them they don’t get to have their full amount of babies which hurts the population.
Future Outlook I think that if we don’t try harder to prevent illegal hunting they will either go extinct or be close to it in our lifetime. They are killed at a high rate from by catch and hunting so they don’t get the chance to have the maximum number of babies they would have in their lifetime. The number of these sharks are declining despite efforts to protect them because of legal by catch and the sneaky poachers.