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How Are Sharks Impacted by Humans?

It’s Shark Week 2022

Shark week is exciting to many of my pediatric patients. I am a speech pathologist by day and an eco-friendly blogger newbie by night. Here at UnMake Your Mark; we care about earth and earth’s creatures and protecting them. Insert sharks. What is Shark Week, you ask? Shark Week is an annual week-long Discovery Channel event featuring education and programming about many types of terrifying and magnificent sharks. 

Today, I wanted to educate you on how things like capitalism, pollution, and climate change impact sharks. 

But first, let’s hear some fun facts about sharks:

1) They are older than dinosaurs!

2) Some have up to 14 rows of teeth

3) Some, like the bull shark, can live in both fresh & salt water

4) They can sense (via electrical current) movements of creatures around them

5) Hammerhead sharks have 360-degree vision range

6) Shark litters can include up to 125 pups (that’s a lot of baby sharks)

7) Some move 2,500 miles without rest

8) Females are almost always bigger

According to WorldWildLife.org, 17 of 39 pelagic shark species are threatened by extinction.

The biggest hurdles sharks face today include:

Over-fishing

Humans kill 100 million sharks per year. For some, it is a sport. That number is unimaginable, and it’s no wonder extinction threatens some species. 

Pollution and Global Waste

According to an article by EcoWatch in 2020, microplastics can be found within several types of sharks. Plastics can even get caught in their gills while they are breathing. Since they are a top ocean predator, they often consume the MOST plastic because every fish or sea creature they eat contains plastics and microplastics. 

OCEAN POLLUTION
OCEAN POLLUTION

Nets

Many sharks caught in nets are innocent bystanders (bycatch) of mass fishing nets looking for other fish in the sea. Last week (not Shark Week, oops), I watched Shark Beach feature Chris Hemsworth, and he indicated many beaches in Australia have special nets close to shore to protect humans from sharks. These nets are often very dangerous to sharks because if a net catches a shark, they usually die. 

SHARK NET
NETS TO CAPTURE SHARKS

Climate Change

This quote is from an article by Save Our Seas, “by releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, humans are changing the global climate in ways that are affecting the marine environment in terms of weather patterns, water temperature, sea level, ocean chemistry, currents, coastal erosion and the frequency of storms.” For example, many sharks are moving away from the equator as they dislike the warmer waters. They are supposed to adapt slower over time, and it is difficult for them to make such rapid changes. 

Shark Finning

This practice entails killing a shark for its fins for both gourmet delicacy meals and medicinal purposes for the upper class in countries like China. The details of this are particularly cruel. 

When we think about unmaking our mark, we must think about global warming, climate change, plastic pollution, and how all of those impact our ecosystems, including the majestic and vital shark. 

Did you know!?

Sharks provide a powerful balance to the oceans’ ecosystem (they store carbon) and they eat sea grass grazers which leaves more sea grass (which also stores carbon) which keeps it out of our atmosphere!

Preserving sharks reduces the earth’s carbon footprint; who knew?! 

Xoxo,

Jen

#unmakeyourmark #sharkweek2022 #climatechange #globalwarming #plasticpollution #sustainability

2 thoughts on “How Are Sharks Impacted by Humans?”

  1. Hi Jenny, That’s sounds good. I’m watching SharkWeek.
    The sharks are scary & deadly, but we need them. I wish I had the ability to help fund the organizations that are trying to save so many of our creatures that are facing extinction.

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