Why is it important to protect our sharks?
Sharks play a huge role in the oceans as they are at the top of the food chain in virtually every part of every ocean. In that role, they keep populations of other fish healthy and in proper proportion for their ecosystem. The shark species have been around for 100 million years, this means they were about when dinosaurs were roaming the land! Sharks mature slowly, and don’t reach a reproductive age until anywhere from 12 to 15 years old. This, combined with the fact that many species only give birth to one or two pups at a time (not unlike ourselves), means that sharks have great difficulty recovering after their populations have declined.
Every year, up to 73 million sharks are killed for their fins, threatening one-third of open ocean sharks with extinction. Finning is incredibly inhumane, as the sharks are typically thrown back into the water to drown. Sharks are disappearing at an alarming rate, and if they go extinct the ecological consequences would be devastating. As an apex predator, sharks hold the oceans in balance and their extinction would have significant effects on every species below them.
Sharks are one of the most misunderstood creatures due to bad publicity, and the success of films like jaws…….here are some fun facts about sharks that you may enjoy:
*you can measure the age of a shark by counting the rings on its vertebrae.
*most sharks never sleep because they have to constantly pump water through their mouth over their gills to breath or they will die.
*sharks have an amazing sense of hearing. They can hear prey up to 3000 feet away.
*the gestation period for a pregnant female shark can range from five months to two years! The spiny dogfish shark has the longest confirmed pregnancy for sharks, and is also one of the longest pregnancies of any animal.
*it has been estimated that the bite force of great white shark is up to 4,000 psi. For comparison, a tiger generates around 1,000 psi of bite force.
*some female sharks use sperm from multiple males to reproduce, making the pups half-siblings…even though they’re born at the same time.
*some sharks can get through up to 35,000 teeth in their lifetimes!!!!
*in many species of sharks the females are larger than the males.
Shark fin petition
Let’s support this current petition to stop shark finning in Australia!