Last night in my Facebook news feed I came across a story that ABC 7’s news feed put out about an idiot fisherman from San Antonio. He spent 8 hours killing an 800 pound Tiger shark off the coast. I tried to not rage about it and failed miserably. My anger and frustration was put forth in mini-rant left in the comments section. It was than followed by a smaller rant when I shared ABC 7’s post on my timeline.
This morning I noticed a response from one of my Facebook friends asking some very good questions. I spent about 30 minutes trying to answer them the best I could. I am not a shark expert. Although, maybe I am? I seem to know more about sharks than anyone I know. I’ve have been watch Shark Week from the very beginning. But honestly, I don’t really consider myself to be an expert. Just educated on the topic is all.
So, I thought that I would put together some basic information here. Information that answers very basic questions people might have as well as some links to where I got the information. These are just basic questions about populations, fatal attacks and a few things along those lines. Now, I would never expect anyone to just believe me. You should always fact check your information by checking at least two different legitimate sites. I don’t have time to list to a bunch of sites but I will try to list at least one reputable site when I post things as facts. If you want to question what I say beyond what I say and the links provided, please do so.
How many people do sharks kill on average per year?
On average about 4.2 but it really does vary I’ve seen years where the numbers have been between 11 and 15. But the average is still about 4.2 a year worldwide.
How many sharks do we kill per year?
About 100,000,000! That’s right, 100 million!
How many sharks are there?
There are an estimated 1,000,000,000 that’s 1 billion for the numerically impaired out there. However, this is just an estimate. No one knows for sure.
How many kinds of sharks are there?
There are at least 440 species of sharks. Most of them are completely harmless.
If there are so many sharks, how can they considered to be endangered?
I know how to answer this but I am not sure how to link to just one or two sites to show where I got my facts my from. I will post some links of course but they won’t give you the full story so I suggest you do your own research or just take my word for it. Though I am not going to lie to you, it’s always best to do your own research.
Not all sharks are considered to be endangered. As I mentioned earlier there are well over 400 species of sharks and most of them go unnoticed by society as they aren’t threatening to us. It’s the large sharks mostly that are endangered.
I think the first thing to understand is the world’s oceans take up most of the Earth’s surface. About 70% of the earths surface is covered by water. That’s a lot of water. Now consider that the larger, endangered sharks are the ocean’s top predator. They are the top of the food chain. When their numbers decline it effects everything else in the ocean straight down to plankton. That also means that they effect the whales and even coral reefs.
Another way to look at is to consider the world’s population is 7 billion. It sounds like a lot doesn’t it. But, in reality, if you placed a two foot by two foot square on the ground and then placed them side by side, the worlds population could fit in LA County. Now we’re talking about maybe just a billion sharks world wide. So we’ve got 7 billion people living in 30% of the world that consists of land. The remaining 70% is filled by just 1 billion sharks. Now when you consider that it’s mainly just the large sharks, the ones we consider to be the top predators, the numbers are so much smaller. Yet, they are completely responsible for the ocean’s food chain. The more we kill, the more damage we do to the world’s oceans.
(See question number two and then scroll down to see the answer.)
How do we kill so many sharks?
We are fishing them into extinction. Many places around the world there is a thing called Shark Fin Soup. Sharks are killed by the thousands every hour by these fisherman. It is a brutal, horrific and cruel death for these sharks. These inhumane bastards catch the sharks an then cut off all their fins while the shark is still alive. They are then just tossed off the ship, again, still alive as they spiral down to the bottom of the ocean where they suffocate and die or are killed by the enormous pressure along the way.
Then there’s the idiots that just kill sharks for the fun of it. The typical moronic actions of sports hunters. A perfect example of this type of moron is Ryan Spring from San Antonio. The guy spent 8 hours killing a Tiger shark for no reason. Or if there was a reason, he isn’t saying. He did say that he is going to donate the meat to charity. But, that’s a lot like killing someone for fun and then saying, “It’s okay, I plan to do some community service so it’s all good.”
I hope this answer some questions. I enjoyed writing about it and I think if I get some more time I will try to write another shark themed article on the best ways to avoid getting attacked or killed by sharks. Sure you could just stay out of the worlds oceans and rivers but what kinda fun is that? Yes, I did just say “rivers”. If you didn’t know, there are some species of sharks that can swim in fresh water. Sorry to ruin your next trip to the river…