The Importance Of Sharks

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There has been a long time misconception on the threat that sharks have on humans. Originally developed after the release of the movie Jaws, the fear of being subject to a shark attack has escalated, causing humans to view sharks as an imminent threat to their lives. Due to their high status sharks have been a desired delicacy for several years. Shark fins are mainly used in a popular Chinese dish called shark fin soup, which originates back to Chinese emperors who saw it as an honorable and potentially healthy dish. Currently over 100 million sharks are being taken from the ocean each year due to shark hunting/finning (Shark Hunting – an Indiscriminate Trade). This drastic decrease and possible extinction of sharks brings extreme danger to…show more content…
Humans have grown to become highly fascinated with sharks, leading to growth in the ecotourism industry. Shark tourism generates more than $300 million a year. The growing appeal to sharks has generated over 10,000 jobs (Blog Conservation). “One estimate for hammerhead sharks suggests that a live shark, over the course of its lifetime, is worth $1.6 million, which is a great deal higher than the $200 the dead shark can sell for” (Ocean Portal). Sharks are much more useful when kept alive, and can be beneficial for several years; however, once they are dead there are no more benefits to be reaped besides what is originally obtained. The decrease in sharks can also be detrimental to many fisheries. Sharks feed on other carnivores down the food chain. Carnivores that sharks prey on often prey on creatures such as shellfish. Without sharks, there would be an increase in several other carnivores, leading to a vast decrease in the amount of shellfish and other herbivores in the sea, which can be detrimental to local fisheries. Fishermen hunt sharks in order to sell their meat for money, however, those sharks are crucial to the survival of other desirable marine life such as shellfish, which fishermen also fish. So these fishermen are putting their own businesses at risk because once sharks are gone, everything is…show more content…
However, sharks are not an imminent danger to humans, only on rare occasions there are incidents, and even then humans are most likely not the sharks intended prey. Sharks kill about six people per year, while humans kill over 100 million sharks a year. Who is the real danger? Oceana discusses that there are over 500 species of sharks in the world, and only about twelve can be potentially harmful to humans. Also, humans are not sharks preferred prey, and humans are often mistaken as different sea creatures.
Consuming shark can be beneficial to your health. While it has been rumored for centuries that eating shark can provide many great health benefits, that is not nearly the case. Shark meat can actually be severely harmful to your body when ingested. Sharks often carry high levels of mercury, arsenic, urea, and lead in their bodies. When ingested by humans, those chemicals can lead to severe health

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