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Or that we could lose more oxygen than is produced by all the trees and jungles in the world combined if we lose our sharks. Two hundred and fifty million years ago, this planet suffered the largest mass extinction on record, and scientists believe this was caused in part by catastrophic changes in the ocean.Sharks play a keystone role ensuring our seas remain in a healthy equilibrium and do not reach that point again.Sharks keep our largest and most important ecosystem healthy. Sharks have sat atop the oceans’ food chain, keeping our seas healthy for over 450 million years.
Over 60 years in NSW alone, the shark nets and drumlines also caught and killed 15,135 other marine animals including turtles, whales, dolphins, rays, dugongs, and countless large and small sharks.
Shark netting and baited drum lines are an outdated and archaic means of sharing our coastline with sharks.
This is not about whether sharks are more important than people, its merely an understanding that future generations need healthy oceans and healthy oceans need sharks to maintain them.
Sharks keep our oceans healthy, they are like the doctors of the oceans, removing the sick and the weak, they maintain the balance in our oceans.
As a result, more than 100 million are killed by human impacts each year.
At this rate, sharks are quickly headed for extinction.
Imports from China, Hong Kong, Indonesia and the Philippines are particularly concerning, as these countries don’t regulate the harvesting of shark fins, and still practice cruel and wasteful live shark finning at sea.
AMCS calls on the Australian Government to prohibit the import and export of shark fin products, which would reduce global demand for shark fins and end Australia’s contribution to the global shark fin trade.
The shark’s critical role As the apex predators of the oceans, the role of sharks is to keep other marine life in healthy balance and to regulate the oceans. Other studies in Belize have shown reef systems falling into extreme decline when the sharks have been overfished, destroying an entire ecosystem.
Studies are already indicating that regional elimination of sharks can cause disastrous effects including the collapse of fisheries and the death of coral reefs. The downstream effects are frightening: the spike in grouper population (thanks to the elimination of sharks) resulted in a decimation of the parrotfish population, who could no longer perform their important role: keeping the coral algae-free and therefore reducing the oxygen quantities in our atmosphere.