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The Looming Extinction of Sharks

Instantly judged by their appearance, not because of scientific data but because of preconceived ideas. No…not plus size divers this time! Today we are looking at sharks, the mistaken ideas many people have about them, and the very real problem this has caused.

You’ve probably heard about shark in a very negative way. Let’s put it into perspective:


  • Sharks kill roughly 5 people each year.
  • 13 people each year die due to vending machine accidents.
  • 100 people a year are killed by falling icicles.
  • Falling out of bed kills 450 people annually just in the US.
  • Autoerotic asphyxiation accidents kills 600 people each year.
  • Hippos kill 2900 people each year.

sharkSo realistically, you are 20 times more likely to die from a falling icicle, or 90 times more likely to die while fall out of bed. Let that sink in!

Meanwhile humans kill roughly 11,417 sharks….per hour.

There’s a reason this matters – even if you are a dick that doesn’t care about sharks.

Everything in nature is connected, including us, and sharks. You can’t take something out of the food cycle and assume everything will be fine. It won’t.

There was a great study done on wolves in the Yellowstone National Park, recently. They reintroduced wolves. Suddenly the forest started expanding, as the deer couldn’t nibble the shoots in the open. The shoots grew into trees, which held back landslides and floodwater, which caused the area to explode with life.  Even the river changed course.  You can see how this cascade effect works by watching the video – here.

The effects are easily visible with wolves, but the exact same principle is at play with sharks. When you take a predator out of its natural environment the prey doesn’t do well, it dies. Populations of the prey initially explode, but then their food sources are overeaten, the balance is shattered and it all goes wrong, fast.

Nobody really cares about sharks because of the mistaken belief they are one of our greatest enemies, thanks largely to movies. Remember, you are 90 times more likely to hang yourself while being kinky, and 20 times as likely to die falling out of bed afterwards. So the sharks aren’t the problem, the public’s perceptions are.

How can you help?

For one thing, don’t kill any sharks. You probably weren’t planning to anyway, but still, don’t!

Secondly, don’t buy shark fin soup. 73 million sharks are killed each year just for their fin. They cut the fin from the shark while it’s still alive. That sucks, and so do you if you encourage them by buying shark fin soup.  There’s a great video on the subject here.

If you’ve eaten shark fin soup in the past then consider yourself forgiven because you didn’t know – on the provision that you stop now you do. Otherwise you still suck.

Thirdly, demand restrictions on fish oil products made from sharks.

And here’s the main one….help spread awareness of what is happening!

Sharks don’t have many people in their corner, and if we have shark species going extinct we could see a complete collapse of many marine environments. Everything is connected, including us.

Step one: share this article and make sure others know just how serious this issue is.  73 million a year just for their fins.  11,417 dead per hour.  The countdown to their extinction has begun, and nobody seems to care. Do you?

About the Author ColinP

Colin is an inventor, author, guitar player, amateur scientist and steampunk enthusiast. During his years as a ships navigator his luck was so consistently bad that he was briefly known as 'Jonah', presumed cursed, and subsequently barred from setting foot on any boat docked in Ireland. Due to his misadventures he spent more time underwater than most divers will achieve in a lifetime. Not deliberately, but he was still down there!

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