Why are sharks so important to the ecosystem?
Sharks are one of the most ancient and most wonderful species in the world, but also, the importance of these fine animals to our ecosystem is indisputable.
Sharks in our ecosystem.
It is well known that sharks are one of the most feared species by human beings, these fish deserve our most sincere respect, as they accomplish a fundamental place in the marine ecosystem. This fundamental role has to do, at first instance, with their position in the food chain.
On the other side, sharks have another function directly related to the health of the ocean’s beautiful ecosystem. We are talking about those times when sharks eliminate the members of other species when they are sick or injured, making the competition for the highest point in the food chain more even. Guaranteeing the diversity of all the different species that conform the ecosystem they all live in.
Sharks are the most important natural predators of the ecosystem, they directly modify the natural habitat of their prey, complementing the diet and feeding strategies of the other species that make up the system.
Sharks maintain the habitats of coral reef
Sharks indirectly maintain and balance the ecosystems found in coral reefs and algae. The role sharks have in our ecosystem can be directly observed. Due to decreasing amounts of shark presence, there has been a significant decline of coral reefs and an increasing amount of algae beds and over population of certain fish species.
With the progressive elimination of different species of sharks in coral reef ecosystems, other type of predators begin to proliferate and feed on herbivores, which in turn ends up causing the macroalgae to expand significantly and therefore coral reefs don’t stand a chance.
In this way, the ecosystem quickly becomes dominated by algae, representing an important risk to coral reefs, which affect their survival.
In others terms, we can assure that currently, shark species that have survived in this planet for more than 450 million years and are now in danger of extinction, and it is humanity’s fault.
Therefore it is essential -as human beings- to become aware of the importance of sharks in our ecosystems and take action, add policies, laws and protection programs to avoid this situation from moving forward, favouring the protection of sharks throughout the world.
As we’ve seen, sharks in the ecosystem play a fundamental role and therefore must be protected by each one of us rather than feared.