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Sharks Characteristics Analysis

Sharks have always been the misunderstood “monsters” of the sea. Up till very recently, very little was known about these aquatic animals aside from the perception that they are man-eaters. Such images were helped along by movies such as the Jaws series. We also have the misconception that they are the relics of the sea and therefore do not need to be attended to since they have managed to survive the evolution of mankind and the world. So it is understandble if men do not really care about saving the species. Most recently however, it has been discovered that their is a reason that these fishes must be saved. If the sharks disappear from our oceans, a catastrophic imbalance shall occur and affect the human food supply chain as well as the ocean ecosystem.

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In any animal environment, there must be a balance to the surroundings. This balance is brought about by the existence of the predator and victims. In the sea, the shark is the main predator that brings balance to the water environment. Due to the decline in the shark population, who are hunted by commercial fishermen for their highly priced fins before being thrown back into the sea, the other oceanic predators have begun to rise and affect the commercial fisheries. According to a report from the magazine Journal, the less sharks there are in the sea, the more smaller predators such a rays and skates there were. This imbalance has now produced a problem within the food web.

The reason that this imbalance exists, is because the overall shark population is in danger of becoming extinct. The threat of extinction stems from various reasons like overfishing, habitat alteration, unintentional capturing and, most recently, a new fishing trend known as long bait fishing. Sharks are also known as the only species whose unborn offspring eat each other within the womb. Due to the long gestation period required by their kind, they are unable to replenish their kind fast enough in order to jumpstart the population.

Due to these reasons, sharks are in imminent danger of extinction. This is why the American government has taken great pains in order to protect what is left of the species. In 1998, the National Marine Fisheries Service implemented a Revised Fishery Management Plan in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. This act declared 39 specis of sharks to be protected, with the list expanded a year later. Then in 1998, the U.S. HOuse Committee on Resources enacted a resolution that opposed the act of shark finning once it became known that the practice killed 55 thousand Blue Sharks all in the name of Shark’s Fin Soup.

In the end, we have to learn that we have more to lose if the sharks become extinct. It is our duty to make sure that the balance of the aquatic world remains in balance because our own survival in the future may very well depend upon the fishes that we fear the most.

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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Sharks Characteristics Analysis'. 10 December.

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