Sharks constitute the largest predatory fish in the ocean, with no natural marine predators of their own. Yet one visitor species to the ocean realm does significantly predate on sharks: humans. While the overexploitation of oceanic fish and marine mammals is widely recognized, the drastic decline in the number of sharks throughout the world receives less recognition. There are two primary drivers of shark population declines: shark fishing and incidental by-catch. Due to the consistently high monetary value of shark fins in many international cultures of consumption, the harvest levels have remained high. The incidental bycatch of sharks is not always reported and these bycatch species are often used in products and mislabeled as other ocean fish. The large industries that benefit from this income, like those of big oil, have greater political power than the scientists wishing to contest these issues (Friedrich et al. 2014). Both an increased attention to shark attacks and the character of shark attacks—in particular, the strength and aggression of sharks—has resulted in a highly unfavorable public perception of sharks as nothing more than dangerous killers. At the same time, however, interest in the aggression of sharks has also fostered scientific curiosity about the unseen aspects of a shark’s life. Increasing scientific interest in the life of sharks has led to expanding research programs that have generated a great deal of insight into the migration patterns, feeding habits, reproductive processes, and many other characteristics of these species (Simpfendorfer et al. 2011).
|Department||School of Arts and Sciences|
|Degree||Bachelor of Arts|
|Cite this work||
Researchers should cite this work as follows: