Sharks keep the measure of diversity of species in the sea in balance and guarantee that no other species can increase and expand uncontrolled.
Most of the predators in this world with a weight more than 50 kilogram are sharks. Since 400 million years they do their “job” as sea police by removing ill and injured animals and make a contribution to the genetic stability of various fish species.
Shark fin soup is not a food which is feeding starving people. It is very much a show of wealth. Sharks also do not have any magical power to heal. Because of us for the first time in over 400 million years sharks turned from the hunter to the prey.
Every year sharks kill 8 people.
Elephants and tigers kill 100 people.
Executions kill 2’400 people.
Lightning strikes kill 24’000 people.
Traffic accidents kill 1’200’000 people.
Starvation kills 8’000’000 people.
In the United States and Canada occur per year 40 deadly accidents in the handling of pigs. The threat to be deadly stung by a wasp (1:5 million) is much higher than to get killed by a shark (1:300 million).
Within one year crocodiles around the world killed as many people as sharks did in the last 100 years. Crocodiles are protected – sharks are not.
Today much more sharks get caught than they can reproduce themselve. Most kinds reach their sexual maturity only after many years where they produce just a few descendants within two or more years.
As sharks are global spread it must be assumed that after their extermination the consequences will also appear global and not just local. A partial or total collapse of the individual food chains cannot be excluded. The resulting consequences for our environment and also for the future of mankind can only be described as catastrophic and devastating.
The plankton in the oceans produces approximately 70% of the oxygen we need to breathe. Plankton feeding fish can eat all the plankton uncontrolled if sharks do not hunt them anymore. Sharks are on top of the food chain und therefore the guarantor for the balance of the oceans. If the sharks die the oceans die. If the oceans die the life on land dies as well.
We have to learn that without the animal we fear the most we cannot survive.
“The need to save sharks and our seas outweighs the need to enjoy a bowl of shark-fin soup.”
(Toribiong Johnson, former President of Palau 2009-2013)