The Shark Appeal

Why are Sharks important?

Double Joy Luck Wedding Card

Why Sharks Are Not Man Eaters

 

 

THE SHARKS' APPEAL

We declare that we will endeavour to preserve the life of sharks in our oceans and seas so that they may sustain the ecology and bio-diversity of our planet. We will do our utmost to discourage the indiscriminate fishing and killing of sharks be it for sport or fins and will promote the education of the young and old, with fervour and grace so that we may live with a greater appreciation of our affinity with the sea.

 THE SHARK DILEMMA

The apex predator of the ocean's ecological web now faces a new predator - the human being. We have created a need for the cruel finning of sharks by our desire to consume them. Our fishing industry's indiscriminate methods have caused the unnecessary suffering and death of these creatures. It will cause an imbalance in the ecology and bio-diversity of their habitat, our oceans, and our seas. It is an unfair and unjust but preventable predicament that the human being has created for the voice-less shark. This practice will continue to a catastrophic disaster if we do not take immediate action to avert it. The primary motivators that continue to cause this race to disaster moot from ignorance rather that deliberate desire. There is an imperative need to inform and inspire to overcome the present apathy. This declaration is but a small step for humankind to redeem the imbalance we have caused and give voice to the defenseless shark.

 

The Shark Kill Rate:

 

The Shark Replacement Rate

  • It takes a whale shark 25 years to reproduce.

  • Hammerheads and Tiger sharks  take 15 years

  • Sexually mature sharks have long gestation periods for up to two years.

  • The shark gives birth only to one or two pups a year.

  • There can be years when no new sharks are born.

  • Being a top predator, sharks did not have any enemies, until humans began slaughtering them.

  • Even if given the opportunity to recover they would do so slowly if not at all.

 

Why Sharks Are Not Man Eaters;

1. Man/ Human is not a food source in the ocean; fish, crustacean, seals, sea lions, whales are on their palate, human is not.

2. Shark attacks are not staged as in the movie "Jaws"? The brain of sharks  does not focus to target human; sharks react by instinct. It sensed food in the water. It is hungry, and every once awhile take a bite first ask questions later approach. It can be a horse, man, a can, a toilet bowl, a car license plate or anything else, for that matter. In most occasion, after the first bite, it will let go of its human prey once it senses that the prey is too bony with little flesh for their palate.

3. Hollywood and now Bollywood movies like that of "Jaws" contributed to give an ill reputation to sharks. Sharks do not rise of water to eat man. So are sharks men eaters?"

4. Though sharks have impressive eyesight they do get easily confused in turbid or wavy water and occasional take a bite on humans thinking of them as a seal, especially when a human is lying on their stomach on a surfboard with limbs dangling into the sea. It is Sharkís strategy to go embark on an attack from beneath a potential target to take it by surprise; the shadow against the sky is much like a seal resting on the surface. Try the same approach especially in murky water of a surf beach and you too will appreciate the confusion.

5. 80% of shark species are either unable or unlikely to even come in contact with humans?" Most of the 375 to 475 known types of sharks are gentle and a lot smaller than the fierce Great White.

6. 80% of all types of sharks are smaller than 2m while less than half of the remaining 20% is about 1. 2m. Simply said, sharks are mostly small thus unlikely to take any interest towards human.

7. It is not true that the larger the shark, the more likely it is to bite humans, as large sharks are frequently referred to as man-eaters. The fact is the two largest sharks living in our oceans are known as gentle giants. The Whale shark and the Basking shark are, in fact, plankton eaters, and it is a fact that they have no interest in humans.

8. However, four species are more known to attack humans Ė not eat them! The four species is far from being even close to 475 species of sharks that ended up sharing the same bad reputation. While these four shark species are considered potentially dangerous to humans, the attack is out of confusion or when threatened. These species are: the Great White shark, the Tiger shark, the Bull shark and the Great Hammerhead shark. Many humans have deliberately swum with these four species outside the cage with no problem. Hence these sharks are not man eaters either.

9. Calling sharks, tigers and lions man-eaters just because these animals have bitten human being is an archaic language; it was human invading their territories that cause them to react. Dogs bite and maul human too; do we call them man eaters? These magnificent animals are now on the brink of extinction Ė cause by human. We need a change in attitude; we need to be better stewards of our natural world. `  

`Now with these facts, we hope one can understand why the passionate conservationists and scientists dislike the fact that all sharks are being called man eaters, misinterpreted by the media.

.

 

Why are Sharks important?

IThe surface of the Planet Earth is 70% percent ocean, 30 % land... it should have been called "Ocean" not "Earth", really. But I guess they didn't know that until they mapped the planet and figured out it is round and mostly water.

The ocean rules all life on Earth, as is holds most of our bio diversity, most of our food, rules the climate, disasters etc.... only the major things that support life on Earth, right?

The ocean, much like all life, has a finely tuned balance that has evolved over millions of years. As any system in balance, it can be totally whacked out of joint if you take out one component. Nature will adapt to small changes, but canít withstand a major disruption.

Humans are wreaking havoc in the oceans. And they don't even know how bad it is, because itís not visible on the surface.

On land we have managed to destroy most natural systems, have ruined the balance of prey and predator, of the natural cycle of life. We decide what gets to live and what has to be removed. No predators are allowed to threaten our way of life. We wreck it, then fill the gap with a few animals that are purposeful for us, and create an artificial balance of sorts by culling, domestication and breeding.

Just think, we have not only removed all predators, but the grazers, birds and furry creatures that donít appeal to our taste buds. We only allow cattle, pigs, turkeys and a few species or deer and rabbits to inhabit the landscape that surrounds us. Predators, such as a wolf or mountain lion, better run for a nearby National Park or they are toast!

So the land is messed up and the animal world is destroyed, caged or organized and managed in some weird way. So far we have been getting away with only some devastating effects, which we obviously tolerate as acceptable.
 
We simply could NEVER do this in the ocean. We can barely get below 100m on a consistent basis. The average depth of the ocean is 4000m. It's a three-dimensional space that we barely understand, we can't manage and can't control. We don't even have the technology to travel through most of it, except with the occasional high tech, multi-million dollar submarine, or get data, because satellite imagery can't penetrate the oceans depths. Only a small percentage of the total ocean floor has even been mapped.

Fish populations affect the food chain down all the way to plankton and bacteria. The chemistry of the ocean is affected by the animals; even the temperature of the water can change due to increase or decrease of sea-grass, algae and plankton (which has to be grazed by animals). Temperatures affect major currents. Currents affect the climate (including El Nino), rainfall and disaster such as drought, flood, and hurricanes and, in the end, the global climate.

We can probably decimate a few species on the lower end of the food chain and get away with it, but the top of the food chain is critical. And who is at the top? Who controls the fish populations? The apex predators! And who is one of the top predators? Sharks 

There are of course dolphins and whales, which also need to be protected. The difference is that those guys hunt mostly live food. Sharks remove the sick, dead or dying and therefore keep populations healthy and the ocean free of excessive decay. Take the sharks away and it will all fall apart. So whether you like them or not, you need them for your quality of life. This sounds very gloom and doom, but it's the truth.

The point is not that shark extinction is the one and only issue that are most important. Climate change, ocean acidification and plastic in the ocean are of course just as big an issue. The fact is, it is all inter connected... Our lack of care supports a completely new ecosystem - a global system of disasters, pollution and extinction.