Protect Sharks from Extermination

Imagine, if you will: Night, darkness and the ocean. A charming blonde left her joyous mates behind and decided to swim under the calm waves of the ocean. Water, under the silver moonlight is being disturbed only by elastic motions of human body. But, you begin to sense early signs of impending trouble in the music: the pace is accelerating, the drums sound louder: And on the screen, you see a sudden surge, then, a soul-freezing cry.

I bet you guessed at once the reference. It’s already 34 years since we saw the first of “Jaws” movies. It was seen by millions and till now the word “Shark” associates with worst shots in that movie. There is a stereotype: shark is an ominous monster, ruthless, all devouring machine, sharp teeth, evil eyes, ready to tear the human flesh at once.

This image was created and it is being sold even now. Following the «Jaws» there were «Jaws-2», «Jaws-3» and «Revenge of sharks», a novel, which served as the primary script, went all over the world. This is how special layer of mythology had been formed during decades: A great white sharks with a length of 20 feet, weighing 6 thousand pounds with teeth which can be a good knife for cutting meat.

Several years ago a popular story about Shirley Ann Durdin was a big  shock for naive people who tend to believe in such stories blindly, as they think of sharks as awful monsters. Also I remember another quite popular story that diver’s suite was discovered in the stomach of a tiger shark.

Perhaps horrible details like these are sufficient to complete a mythical image. No doubt, many of such facts are quite accurate. However a lot more evidences serves as a counter balance of another side of these animals. You can read my another article  – Myths about Sharks.

Shark experts believe that great white shark do not hunt on human: it sometimes takes a big man for marine mammals, like seal  (especially surfers with board).

An interesting evidence of well-known researcher of marine depths Jacques-Yves Cousteau who met a Great white shark : «Shark saw us, its reaction was unexpected. Frightened, it released a cloud of excreta and disappeared with incredible speed ».

And that is true,  sharks have far more reasons to be afraid of people than people to be afraid of them. Millions of  sharks are being killed by humans every year. The extermination of these animals  has reached such alarming proportions, that scientists have already started to use such frightening (at least for me) terms: «observed decline», «the probability of extinction».

Probably it is true that in the near future we will live in a world where sharks will be nothing more but just another part of our history. Anyone who wants to see how realistic this forecast is, just watch the bloody battle: Man vs Shark.

Let’s take a look to this website, this jerk is making money killing sharks on daily basis. It is very sad but it’s all about money. And it is not only his “fault”, he is doing good business because he got clients with deep pockets, the rule is quite simple.

“I guarantee a hunted shark for all customers” says Mark Shark. “Full refund will be given if no shark will be caught. Previously it happened that in a day we caught five or six sharks, but now only one.”

Ah it’s so pity that I’m not a hacker and it is even worse that I’m not a judge either :(

But sharks are also being killed because they “taste good” and are considered to be a “magical drug”.

There are rumors that soup made of shark fins (very popular in Asian countries) not only strengthens human health, but it also increases male sexual potency.This led to the catastrophic reduction of number of these predators in seas and oceans as a result of increased catch from year to year. Near are the days when sharks will be in the Red Book of endangered species of animals and we can see these impressive predators just in movies.

According to Bite-Back, UK’s sharks protection organization, each year more than 100 million sharks are caught for their fins: the fishermen cut off fins and throw mutilated fish in the sea, for them the  age of shark  doesn’t matter at all. The cost of 1 kg of fins exceeds $500 (the dorsal fin of whale shark is estimated to be 15 000 dollars). Now, in more than 125 countries around the world, products made of sharks are available.

In doing so, we make sharks vulnerable marine inhabitants. Unlike many other fish species, they mature slowly (the majority of sharks reach sexual maturity at the age of seven), giving only little offspring.

It’s difficult to imagine that these skilled predators are threatened to be extincted, but this is the actual situation.  Year 2009 is almost in past ( it was declared as  “Year of Sharks”. ) , so that’s why I’ve decided to devote this article to this magical animals .

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