Sharks have been around for millions of years, but because of some events that are currently happening, our “vicious” friends seem to be disappearing. Many marine biologists, such as Charles Paterson and George Burgess, have began to notice a very rapid decline in larger sharks, and because of that, the food chain and ocean ecosystems across the world will suffer. Two of the major problems of the decrease in sharks include tournaments in which the man with the largest shark wins a prize for his “heroic” capture and finning, when the shark’s fins are removed and sold as a delicacy in many Asian cultures.
In one instance, marine ecologist Charles Peterson noticed a very dramatic decrease in scallops in a bay in North Carolina because they had been eaten by a large group of cownose rays. This bay use to be covered by scallops and other marine animals, so much that you couldn’t see the ground, and Peterson is concluding that the population of sharks has gone down because some sharks, such as the hammer-head shark, eat rays, but there has been a dramatic increase in rays in this bay area and it is noticed by the lack of scallops. Another marine biologist, George Burgess, has been studying the amount of shark attacks a year there are. The about 60 accidents a year has indeed scared people to the point in which they find sharks so terrifying and they have deemed them worthy of death. Burgess, however, says that “when people kill sharks, they are destroying not an enemy, but a pillar in an ocean ecosystem that helps sustain life on land.” In other words, we are killing a creature we cannot live without, mostly by killing them for a small prize or for a warm bowl of shark-fin soup.