Shark hunting T E S S A F I N L E Y

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1 Shark hunting T E S S A F I N L E Y

2 SOURCES OF IMPACT FINNING FINNING -- kills roughly 100 million sharks annually the sharks bodies are fished, fins cut off, and then thrown back into the ocean without the faculty of their fins, which are necessary for motility, balance, and temperature regulation, the afflicted sharks (not true warm-blooded animals since they use their tails for regulation) bleed out, drown, freeze.

3 SOURCES OF IMPACT -- FISHERIES FISHERIES -- eco-managerial killing of sharks by fisheries in an effort to cut back on fish predation Neglect of basic ecological evidence and a lack of respect for sharks fisheries see sharks as a threat to the (also dwindling) fish population Long-line fishing

4 SOURCES OF IMPACT FEARFUL HUNTING FEARFUL HUNTING -- sharks are often misconstrued as fatal threats to people in ocean waters, which results in some recreational shark hunting especially in Alaska and Florida. contributes to a sentiment of fear towards sharks that encourages political immobility against finning.

5 WHY IS THIS HAPPENING? Finning is a culturally entrenched practice in many countries, especially in Asia -- there is little social or legal ambition to end it Shark fin soup is considered an extreme delicacy in many traditional Oriental cultures, especially in China Extremely high profit and relative ease of harvesting and selling shark fins Attempt to preserve fish population by fisheries Few, if any, shark attacks are unprovoked, but are instead the result of the poor judgment/education of open ocean swimmers

6

7 AFFECTS ON MARINE ECOSYSTEM Sharks are apex predators -- at the highest level of the trophic chain in marine ecosystems

8 AFFECTS ON MARINE ECOSYSTEM As the tiger shark population has gone down, the health of seagrass beds has been threatened since herbivores like dugongs and sea turtles have increased in numbers exceeding that ecosystem s carrying capacity -- the seagrass is unable to grow at a pace that keeps up with the eating habits of dugongs and turtles

9 AFFECTS ON MARINE ECOSYSTEM Decrease in shark population = increase in ray population; rays, among others, are mesopredators, or middle-level predators. Without shark predation to keep ray and other mesopredator populations at bay, the population of smaller prey decreases shellfish, in the case of rays The bivalve population has also decreased as a result of increased numbers of mesopredators. abiotic impacts especially in coastal and intertidal areas, since bivalves filter water, which prevents the risk of extreme algal blooms algal bloomscan lead to dead zones, which are extremely difficult for all marine life to recover from.

10 AFFECTS ON MARINE ECOSYSTEM Low reproductive output (sharks only reproduce a few young in a lifetime) ensures slow recovery

11 AFFECTS ON MARINE ECOSYSTEM (III) Sharks are extremely diverse and widespread -- ensures that they are a keystone species in multiple, various ecosystems Whale shark Hammerhead shark Blue shark Tiger shark Basking shark Thresher shark

12 LAWS GOVERNING SHARK HUNTING Despite recent political movement against whaling, there has been little momentum to legally regulate shark hunting Conservation laws: some highly threatened species of sharks are protected by international law finning remains unmonitored, and fisheries often skirt the most basic legal regulations enforcement of minimal/basic laws has been inconsistent and poor (like the enforcement of whaling laws).

13 LAWS GOVERNING SHARK HUNTING ~100 of ~400 shark species on the world conservation union s red list are commercially exploited Why no laws? shark finning and commercial killing is culturally and economically entrenched mass public fear political momentum. Not many people are ethically outraged by the killing of sharks, and shark conservation projects consistently get less popular support compared to other conservation projects governments of involved countries don t see it as a priority

14

15 POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS laws must be put into place prohibiting the finning of sharks protection of sharks on par with IPCC protection of whales should be given more social and political clout sharks could be admitted to the list of internationally protected species under the IPCC people need to better understand and better educate themselves and each other about sharks

16

17 WORKS CITED Eilperin, Juliet. "Sharks Are Scary But Not That Dangerous." The Daily Beast. Newsweek/Daily Beast, 15 June Web. 24 Nov <http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/06/16/sharks-are-scary-but-notthat-dangerous.html>. Global Shark Conservation Campaign." Pew Charitable Trusts. N.p., 19 Apr Web. 24 Nov <http://www.pewtrusts.org/our_work_detail.aspx?id=140>. Hollister, Kelton. "The Ecological Dangers of Shark Fishing." N.p., Web. 24 Nov <http://www.christopherxjjensen.com/wpcontent/uploads/2012/05/hollister_kelton_-_midterm.pdf>. Monbiot, George. "Fishing Industry Annihilating Sharks, Big Ocean Fish." Fishing Industry Annihilating Sharks, Big Ocean Fish. The Guardian, UK, 13 Apr Web. 24 Nov <http://rense.com/general76/shark.htm>. Shark Finning Prohibition Act. Washington, D.C.: U.S. G.P.O., Print.

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