I Believe That We Should Leave Sharks Alone

For as long as I can remember I have always loved the ocean. I have been fascinated with it ever since I was born. Growing up, my favorite animals were sharks and dolphins. Most kids and people, in general, are scared of sharks. People always want to think the worst because of movies like Jaws and the more recent, 47 Meters down. I, on the other hand, have always loved them. About 100 million sharks are killed a year. I believe that we should stop killing sharks.

Last summer I went on a dive and the dive site was called rainbow canyon. This day was sunny and the water was warm and flat. It was perfect. Rainbow Canyon is an amazing dive site with beautiful colors and lots of different species of fish and other animals. I was extremely happy on this dive. My dive buddy, Cameron and I, were probably down at about 30 maybe 40 feet of water. Cameron and I were just going along and all of a sudden he turned to me and points to something. I looked over and it was a nurse shark. This was my first time seeing a shark underwater and I was amazed. I was ecstatic. The shark saw us, and he swam away. This is when I really felt like I knew what people were talking about when they say that sharks don’t mess with anyone. I’ve had a few more encounters with sharks since then, and they have all similar.

Our oceans are losing hundreds of sharks everyday due to shark finners, long-line fishing, net fishing, etc.. Not only are sharks being killed for their fins but, other animals with the same kind of cartilage as sharks are also being killed, such as manta rays. Shark finning is where people fish for sharks with nets or lines or whatever they can and they cut off all the fins then throw the rest of the shark back into the ocean. Sharks have to have their fins to live because they always have to be moving so they end up sinking to the bottom, suffocating, and being eaten by other fish.

The killers then sell or dry out the fins so they can be powderise and turned into pills. They do this because people believe that sharks can give them superpowers because they are almost immune to anything. There has been research to see if shark fins help us in any way and they do not. They sell the fins because in Asia, shark fin is a delicacy, used for weddings or other special events. By having shark, it shows wealth. There was a study in 2013 showing that there are about 11,417 sharks killed per hour. This means that about 3 sharks are killed per second. There are about five deaths caused by sharks every year. Animals such as cows, horses, and even ants kill more people a year than sharks do. Most Times when I tell someone that I love sharks and that they are my favorite animal, people look at me like I am crazy. “Sharks, but what about their teeth?” “Aren’t they scary?” “You want to go swimming with sharks?” There are almost never any positive things about sharks. This is because of all the misconceptions about these magnificent creatures. When Jaws premiered, sharks almost instantaneously got a bad reputation.

Sharks are pretty intimidating animals with their teeth but they are really chill and graceful. The only time they accelerate is when they are trying to catch prey or trying to swim away from something. Otherwise, they move slowly and lazily. Sharks can be very curious which can be a little freaky if you are not paying attention. Tiger sharks are one of the most curious species of sharks, one has to make sure that they are extra careful when around them. If someone is messing with sharks, eventually they will get bit. Sharks do not care about us. When diving with them, they just swim right passed us.

Why we need them: Sharks are the apex predator of the ocean. The oceans cannot survive without sharks. Sharks eat all of the sick and dead fish that are in reefs. Without sharks, bigger fish would populate the reefs and they would eat the herbivores and without the herbivores, more microalgae grows and if too much algae on the reefs, the corals cannot continue to flourish. At the end of the day we are in their home. They don’t come to our homes just to kill us. But that is exactly what we do.

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