Why are sharks so important to our oceans?
Sharks aren’t just one of the most impressive sea creatures. They’ve also been around for millions of years.
In addition, this species holds up the balance of its natural habitat, the ocean.
We will tell you why the shark really is indispensable for the oceanic ecosystems.
Sharks are key factors in the marine ecosystems
We know that there are many shark species found today, cataloged within the lists of endangered animal species; While this remains true there are many people that feel reassured because they consider them dangerous animals. This is a mistake. Considering sharks dangerous is not a positive thought. Why? Because it turns out that sharks are essential to the sustainability of marine ecosystems. What makes sharks so important for the preservation of ecosystems? We’ll tell you then.
Sharks balance fish populations
Sharks are almost at the top of the ocean food chain, and when it comes to balancing out species, they are the best. This is achieved through natural selection and of course, hungry sharks. Sharks usually aim at the weakest or wounded prey available, which in returns maintains a healthy population of fish.
Sharks protect coral reefs
One of the greatest threats to coral reefs is the excess of algae. To keep this under control, it requires the presence of herbivorous fish, which feed on these algae, maintaining the balance.
These herbivorous fish, however, are at the lowest of the food chain, yet they control algae population as much as sharks control fish population. Hence the word “chain”.
The sharp decline in shark populations leads to greater presence of middle predators, which, by food chain rules, ends up affecting coral reefs.
The importance of sharks at a social level
While it is true that the importance of these species to the ecosystem should be more than sufficient reason to encourage its preservation, it can be also highlight how these affect the economy of societies.
One of the most important economic advantages that sharks bring to has to do with the fact that, year after year, millions of dollars go to ecotourism that includes sight seeing, diving with sharks and other shark based tourism activities.