Yesterday night at TJ’s sports bar and grill, Elizabeth Ward-Sing and Brendon Sing organized a very moving presentation about sharks and their critical role in the marine ecosystem. Shark guardian is a UK based charity created by Elizabeth and Brendon to help raise awareness of the shark fishing industry through education.
Currently we are killing over 100 million sharks every single year. They are caught using a hook, and then brought on board and get their fins cut off (while they are still alive) and thrown back into the ocean to drown to death. This targeted finning means the sharks are only used for their fins; the rest of the shark is completely useless to fishermen when they can expect a huge price for the fin alone. Like other fish, sharks use their gills to breathe while the water passes through and they extract oxygen from the water. Some sharks that are not active swimmers can respire while remaining motionless. Most sharks that are unfortunate enough to get finned will either die from drowning, bleed to death or starvation because they cannot move. This process can sometime takes weeks. Sharks are very vulnerable to overfishing because they have a very late onset of reproduction (x 15 or 20 years for the larger sharks). They also have very few young. Since the 1970s the populations of several species have been decimated by over 95%! So why do we need sharks? Sharks mean a healthy ocean. A healthy and abundant ocean depends on predators like sharks keeping ecosystems balanced.
The work done by Shark Guardian is inspirational and extremely important towards conservation by raising awareness. They are a non-profit organization that relies on donations. Please visit http://www.sharkguardian.org/ for more information.