Sharks are in Danger
100 million sharks are killed each year-by longlines, by "sport" fishermen, or by a barbaric practice known as shark finning. Hooked sharks are hauled onto boats; their fins are sliced off while they are still alive. These helpless animals are then tossed back into the ocean where, unable to swim without their fins, they sink towards the bottom and die an agonizing death.
Half of the oxygen we need for survival is produced via phytoplankton photosynthesis. Photoplankton is responsible for taking in carbon dioxide molecules and turning them into oxygen. Millions of these tiny marine plants drift near the ocean’s surface. Tiny animals called zooplankton eat the photoplankton, as well as clams and other small fish. Jellyfish, some whales and other fish in turn eat the zooplankton. Larger fish eat the animals that feed off of the zooplankton and so forth and so on. Any link in this food chain that is missing will create an imbalance.
Sharks control the population of species that feed off photoplankton. With a decline in the shark population, there is going to be a steady decline of photoplankton, therefore affecting the oxygen levels of the oceans. Oxygen on Earth is very dependent on the oxygen of the ocean. If we neglect this fact, we are bringing death to the Earth.
Sharks have been part of our ocean’s ecosystems for 420 million years. The practice of shark finning is depleting the ocean’s shark population by over 70 million. Sharks are slaughtered to meet consumer demand, most are killed just for their fins. As a result, Some species of sharks have reduced over 90% in population for a bowl of soup that has no scientifically proven nutritional value.
In short, the world’s fishing fleets are killing sharks faster than they can reproduce and nature can’t keep up. Unless this situation is halted, shark populations face certain extinction.
"Protecting sharks is a more difficult job than protecting dolphins or seals. From the point of view of public relations, seals are cute and dolphins have that lovely natural smile. The shark, in contrast, shows its teeth and, hence, they look menacing.
However, dolphin lovers should know that fishermen kill and cut up dolphins for shark bait for their longline hooks.
We must recognize the value of the interdependence of all species in the oceans and that the shark is an important part of the diversity of marine ecological eco-systems.
We must oppose the cultural practice of consuming shark fin soup, and we must discourage the consumption of sharks for cosmetics and for trinkets. Most importantly, we must educate the general public that sharks are not the vicious, "cold-blooded" creatures many people believe they are.
We need not peer into the dark depths of the sea to see the monstrous creatures that maim and kill by the millions - we need only look into a mirror".
Simon Taylor started this petition with a single signature, and now has 275 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.