Sharks Sustain Seafood Supplies and Help Economies
August 25, 2009

shark diving, shrimp dish, shark tunnel at aquarium

shark diving, shrimp dish, shark tunnel at aquarium

Without sharks, many of our favorite crustacean-based seafood dishes would drop off menus. Sharks, perfectly adapted to thrive as apex predators, maintain the ocean’s biodiversity by controlling the populations of marine species that are lower than them on food chains. As has been shown in Tasmania, Australia, removing sharks from an area has devastating effects on the ecosystems we depend on for seafood. Tasmania’s shark fisheries quickly exhausted local shark populations. With the sharks virtually gone, the squids dwelling in Tasmanian waters no longer had any predators. Their populations exploded and the rampant squids devoured all of the lobsters in the area until Tasmania’s lobster fishery collapsed. Other fisheries have suffered similar crashes from depleted shark populations, including those for scallops, clams and crabs. We can only guess at the impact declining shark numbers have on parts of the ecosystem that do not affect us directly. (more…)