It really vexes me, when I hear a lot of talk about senseless shark killing for nonsensical products and pills. There are many reasons why we need to keep the shark population thriving, albeit it seems to be on the decline, at the moment. Below, I’ll list a few reasons why these vicious predators and swimming machines help keep the ocean waters clean along with keeping other types of life in check, which all helps to maintain a balanced ecosystem – something that a lot of us humans are always trying to challenge.
With a shark being at the top of the food chain, they affect many different types of life as well as their populations, as you go down the line. I’m sure a lot of you probably think, “well, if we have less sharks we will just have a few more innocent seals, right?” Wrong! It doesn’t work like that, although, yeah, we would also have a massive boom in the seal population, as well. Okay, for the ones that like to eat fish and shellfish, do you know that would also be affected by a mad decrease in the number of sharks swimming around? No? Well, the reason is simple… Sharks eat other predatory fish that eat other fish. Sharks also consume rays along with other aquatic creatures that feed on shellfish, for example. Once the shark population has suffered too many deaths from the Homo sapiens for their asinine reasons, the clams, scallops and oyster populations (just to name a few) are preyed on heavily by other aquatic life that would normally not be thriving in such large numbers due to getting ate by the, uh, sharks.
For some reason or another, many folks don’t like to refer to sharks as scavengers, albeit their scavenger-like ways help keep the water clean. If something dies, like a squid that floats to the top of the water or whatever, it is not uncommon for a large shark or several small sharks to group up and make a meal out of it. That particular aspect combined with their insatiable appetite, makes me want to label most of them as scavengers, but call ’em what ya want.
Anyway, we have enough problems with overly fishing certain types of commercial fish for human consumption, and about the time we fix one problem we are busy creating bigger ones, it seems. This simple concept about the better management of our shark population, doesn’t stop in the water. Many land mammals that are overly hunted and/or killed for fur, expensive clothing, out of spite, etc., end up causing population explosions elsewhere in the ecosystem that is unwanted and often reeks havoc for the environment, and so on. For an even better example, I recently read this quote:
“In A Sand County Almanac, Aldo Leopold wrote about one of the apex predators of the west. In his days with the Forest Service there was a mass kill policy for wolves. As a result, deer populations exploded. This led to major overgrazing of mountain vegetation. Erosion and river-choking sedimentation are a couple of the problems associated with overgrazing. Leopold wrote: “I now suspect that just as a deer herd lives in mortal fear of its wolves, so does a mountain live in mortal fear of its deer.” You can read more from that page, here: http://www.clf.org/blog/ocean-conservation/in-honor-of-shark-week-why-i-love-sharks/
Anyway, now that it is obviously apparent that we need to keep the shark population thriving, even with only reading a few out of the many examples, it is time to move on to some of these senseless products that the humanoids like to use sharks for. Oh, but before I start on that, I forgot to mention another thing that bothers me about the ones who try to kill sharks just for spite and/or for pathetic reasons. Ya know, the ones who think they are “protecting” humanity from the Great Whites or the ones who took the movie JAWS a little too serious, and are mad that humans get bit and/or killed on occasions from these deadly creatures. One must realize, that no matter what, even though it sucks when humans do get killed by sharks, that we are on their territory when we are out surfing or swimming or floating around in the ocean.
Okay, now back to some of the products and uses that come from sharks…
The least ridiculous use of sharks, are the ones that at least consume them. I’m not talking about the Shark Fin Soup, either, as we’ll get to that in a minute. Sharks are a common seafood in many places, including Japan and Australia. In India, baby sharks are sold as a food product, as well. However, when it comes to a total waste, I must bring up the Shark Fin Soup. It is common for fishermen to capture live sharks, fin them with a hot metal blade, and dump the fin-less animal back into the water where the immobile shark later dies from suffocation or from other predators. All for a little expensive soup, eh? …The things some people will do to make a lot of money… Utter nonsense…
Anyway, there are many products that are unnecessarily made from sharks, such as certain types of lipstick and skin care products. It is not uncommon for people to sell a shark’s sharp teeth to make necklaces. Some folks use the shark’s skin to adorn certain types of handles, such as a sword handle, for example. There is even a silly demand for their jaws, as well.
Another reason why there has been a shark killing craze over the last several years, is due to all the hype about how shark cartilage can cure cancer. It is funny that they haven’t proved this yet, and further research is showing that, although rare, sharks can get cancer. Either way, we sure got a lot of shark cartilage capsules to sell in the herbal sections throughout the globe, now don’t we? I’m sure there may be some health benefits from taking these non-herbal shark cartilage capsules or extracts, but I’m also sure that with whatever benefit they can find from these pills, it can be matched or triumphed by another extract that is a true herb and grown from the ground. Plus, they have experimented with bovine (cow) cartilage in the past, so why not stick with that? At any rate, I have provided many reasons why we need to keep the shark population thriving as opposed to the direction it is heading now, which is on the decline.
Well, I’ve chattered about this subject a little more than I meant to, but before I end this page, here is one last tidbit: Out of more than 360 species of sharks, only 4 have been involved in a significant number of fatal, unprovoked attacks on humans: the great white, oceanic whitetip, tiger, and bull sharks.
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