How Do Sharks Help The Ocean

Sharks are often portrayed as vicious creatures that feed on humans. Still, the truth is they help to keep us safe by eating the fish that would otherwise eat our bait. Sharks also serve an important role in keeping other animals’ populations under control. Without sharks, many ocean species would over-populate and take up space where they do not belong. Shark conservation efforts are vital because even though sharks only make up 0.5% of all living marine life. Without them, we will suffer devastating effects on our ocean’s ecosystem.

Sharks Are The Ocean’s Top Predators:

Being a giant, ferocious predator with hundreds of razor-sharp teeth is no easy job. It may seem like it’s just the shark’s nature to feed on the ocean’s other inhabitants. Still, the truth is that sharks are key components in maintaining balance in their ecosystem. Without this top-slot predator, the ocean would be filled with more jellyfish and turtles. 

Sharks essentially keep the ocean healthy by eating the sick and anything that could threaten the fragile ocean ecosystem if it were to spread. Furthermore, sharks help control overpopulation in certain species by reducing their numbers through natural predation. 

Prevents jellyfish bloom:

Jellyfish blooms occur when there is a significant increase in the number of Jellyfish in a given area. Normally an indicator of poor water quality, which is similar to algal bloom. This reduces the amount of oxygen in the water, which drives out most other marine life and can even kill fishes nearby. Sharks eat jellyfish to keep their populations under control. 

It prevents them from becoming too large for the environment to support. When sharks are removed by overfishing,  jellyfish populations can become out of control. As top predators, they eat jellyfish as a food source. They keep them under control enough for the environment to function properly. Without sharks, jellyfish could grow to such an extent that they would take over ocean habitats. It could drive out other marine life.

There are no more sick or weak turtles:

A healthy turtle population is a sign of a healthy ocean.  Sharks eat sick and weak turtles to keep the rest of the species strong and intact. It prevents certain species from dying off rapidly, which can be critical for survival. Weak turtles can also feed on weaker organisms such as sponges and anemones. It destroys natural habitats and creating monocultures where one species reigns supreme. When shark numbers decline, so do turtle populations because fewer sharks eat them.

Sharks help the ocean by maintaining a healthy turtle population as well. As it turns out, Turtles are one of the shark’s favorite meals. Sharks love turtles so much that they’ll even risk getting caught in small crevices to eat them. 

They Keep Populations Of Other Species In Check:

They do it by eating the sick and old. Sharks keep their prey healthy by not letting them get too big or growing in numbers faster than the environment can support. When sharks are removed from the water, prey populations can grow to the extent that they take over ocean habitats.

Sharks don’t just eat their prey. They also help by stimulating a population balance among species in different parts of the ocean.  With a healthy shark population, smaller predators eat the fish that prey on smaller organisms. They help maintain an ecosystem balance by causing the prey to move from place to place and stay active. In these ways, they contribute to a healthier environment for other marine life.

The Food Chain Is Disrupted Without Sharks To Control It:

All lifeforms on earth are connected by food chains. These start with plants or other organisms feeding off the sun’s energy and end with apex predators such as sharks. Without these powerful creatures to maintain balance in the ecosystem, the food chain would collapse. IT would result in drastic changes to many marine ecosystems. One of the most important roles sharks plays in maintaining a healthy ecosystem is being at the top of the food chain and keeping their prey in check.

Without a system of checks and balances, sea life can become out of control after a certain point. Organisms that prey on other species reproduce faster than they can be consumed. Suppose enough food isn’t available to them. In that case, these organisms will die off and cause a domino effect in the surrounding ecosystem.

Sharks help improve our economy:

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry that helps support many countries’ economies. One of the biggest attractions to tourists is visiting places with abundant marine life. When people can safely swim in the ocean, they flock to beaches. This is why shark tourism has become more lucrative over the years. 

By protecting the ocean and its inhabitants, we can work together to build a better economy for ourselves and future generations. Without sharks in our oceans, the ecosystem will be thrown out of balance and tourism revenue. Learning about how important sharks are for our planet is the first step in preventing their extinction.

Sharks may help scientists:

A tumor is an uncontrolled growth of cells, which can spread throughout the body and take over healthy cells if not treated. Cancer in humans is similar to overpopulation in the ocean. We need to understand how sharks fight cancer. We can gain insight into potential new prevention and treatment strategies for this deadly disease that affects millions of people every year. 

Sharks’ innate ability to kill off tumor cells suggests that they may be better equipped to fight cancer than we are. Their immune systems respond quickly and efficiently enough to prevent tumors from forming and spreading throughout their bodies.  

Without these animals at the top of the oceanic food chain, the oceanic food web and ecosystem would be significantly altered. Human health may be compromised. 

Sharks Also Help Maintain Healthy Coral Reefs:

 By eating sea snails and crustaceans,  which prey on coral polyps, sharks help maintain the health of coral reefs. Without predators like sharks to keep them in check, these animals would potentially eat every coral polyp. In turn, it kills the reef. 

Due to climate change and natural disasters, many reefs have been severely impacted. Some species of sharks that once lived there have become extinct or too rare to find. If shark populations continue to dwindle, other marine lifeforms will die off. It includes our coral reefs.

Shark Population Is Quickly Declining:

As apex predators, sharks have a slow reproduction rate and low genetic diversity. This makes it difficult for populations to recover from a large decline in numbers. Sharks can take decades to fully mature and produce young ones. It means that even if we stopped all fishing tomorrow, many species would not be likely to survive.

Even if we wanted to stop fishing, we might not be able to: The distribution of sharks makes them difficult to track and monitor. Unlike animals such as baleen whales that can swim long distances, many species of sharks tend to stay in a small area due to limited food sources. This means we may need more research and observation to understand their habitats fully.

Certain sharks are more economically valuable than others. It makes them a target for fishermen. Sharks have been hunted to the brink of extinction in many places worldwide because they’re prized. As a result, certain species’ numbers have dropped by over 90% in less than 30 years.

We don’t know exactly how much damage has been done to shark populations worldwide. Scientists predict that up to 3/4 of the approximately 400 different species of sharks may be threatened with extinction. It’s a real threat in the next few decades. It’s because these animals grow slowly and have a long maturation period. They cannot recover from overfishing as quickly as other types of fish.

How Do Sharks Help The Ocean

At this point, sharks are too valuable to lose: 

We may not know exactly what effects shark populations have on marine ecosystems. Still, their presence is needed for the health of our oceans and all of the plants and animals that live there. Some scientists believe that removing apex predators like sharks from an ecosystem could cause irreparable harm to the environment. Sharks’ role as top predators is similar to humans’. 

What can we do to help?

The most viable solution would be to stop fishing for sharks altogether. However, this is easier said than done. When one type of shark becomes rare, fishermen switch to targeting another species. Some countries have laws that regulate the types of gear allowed in the water and limit boats from catching certain species. Not everyone follows these regulations.

Education initiatives dedicated to preserving sharks and their habitats are crucial. It is if we want future generations to see more than just a glimpse of this fascinating species. These projects aim to teach people about the value of sharks. It’s done by illustrating their role in ecosystems locally and around the world. It teaches what we can do as consumers to help protect them from extinction.

By Coricia

Marketing manager and co-Chief Editor of Maritime Herald.