Sunday, June 15, 2008

Threats To Sharks

For every human killed by a shark, 20 million sharks are killed by man. Come along with me as we explore some of the threats to sharks and see how conservation of these beautiful creatures is needed. There are five basic threats to sharks.

The first one is boom or bust. Virtually every shark fishery that has been established, has first boomed then, collapsed as a result of over fishing and poor management. This then causes the sharks to decline in number. The price for them then goes up, putting more pressure on the remaining depleted sharks.

The second threat is overfishing. Few management plans or restrictions have been implemented in any country or region, despite the overwhelming evidence of the consequences of over fishing.

By catch is the third threat. Sharks are taken as by catch by fishing operations that target other species. The Blue, Thresher, and Oceanic whitetip sharks are often caught on long lines set for tuna and swordfish. These are just a couple examples of by catch. A lot of the by catch is not reported to keep accurate numbers. In 1993, it was estimated that 8.3 million sharks were caught by swordfish and tuna fisheries.

The fourth threat is the netting that is put around beaches to control the sharks from where people are swimming. These nets have also put sharks under pressure for survival. The sharks get caught in the net and slowly drown. To some degree, human encroachment into the shark's habitats has also put a strain on them. We pull out their nurseries in the name of progress.

Finning is the fifth threat to sharks. This practice is a horrible one, where the sharks are caught and the fins are cut off. The shark is then thrown back into the water to die a slow, painful, death. The amount of sharks that are finned every year is astronomical and NEEDS to be stopped.

Alex "Sharkman" Buttgieg started a one man mission to protect the Great white and Basking sharks around the island of Malta. A local conservation group approached him and offered to join in his fight. Together, they lobbied for the protection of these sharks. On September 24, 1999, the Maltese government issued a legal notice that put the Great white and Basking sharks under protection around Malta. I am proud to be able to say that he is my friend. Please make sure you check out his website at

It is time we put a stop to these threats that are killing the sharks before it is too late. For some sharks, it already may be to late. As Alex proved, it only takes one person to start a chain reaction. Are you willing to be that one?

Remember........Extinction is forever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home