Overfishing of Sharks

Anisa Muñoz

Sharks are being hunted to the point of extinction due to a high market value for their fins. Sharks are vital aspects to oceanic ecosystems. They kill the sick, injured, or weak fish, keeping the population of fish healthy. Sharks are also a keystone species. If they are removed from the food chain, the structure will collapse. For example, if great white sharks were hunted to extinction, the population of sea lions would go unchecked. The seals would eat all of the fish, which would lower the population of fish, meaning fishermen and communities that rely on fish as a main source of food would suffer. I personally chose this topic because I believe that sharks are very important to the world and without them, our ocean ecosystems would collapse. Sharks are constantly being portrayed as the villain in movies and news media. They aren’t cute and cuddly like a panda bear, so not many people are as concerned about shark extinction. Sharks get a bad wrap and they need more people to step up and call attention to their suffering. 

My projects have addressed this issue by bringing attention to the rate at which sharks are being hunted. I wanted to make a comparison between the number of sharks killed by humans and the number of humans fatally attacked by sharks. As of 2019, 17 out of 58 tracked species are classified as facing extinction due to overfishing. I wanted to also give people a way they can help so I added in organizations and petitions people can participate in to be able to have their voice be heard and have a hand in helping to conserve sharks.