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  • Writer's pictureTeagan Harbour

Where Are Our Sharks?

All shark species have decreased astronomically in the last decade due to human disruptions. Read this article to find out why these numbers have dropped and how humans can fix their detrimental actions.

Shark populations are staggered from tropical places to coasts off of many countries. Human destruction has shark species and habitats unintentionally destroyed so that they cannot live, thrive, or grow. One of the biggest threats to these animals is overfishing. By reducing fish, sharks lose a vital food source. Tracing back to food webs and food chains, sharks need much more energy than smaller fish do. With that said, they need more fish to retain that energy. Knowing fishing is an amusing pastime for many, it is important to note that putting fish back once caught is the better option. Sharks are seen as dangerous threats in our oceans and something that humans are commonly afraid of, but they regulate our waters and keep the ocean functioning. Without this major predator, over population of other species could arise.

Additionally, two other human disturbances include pollution and climate change. Pollution can include run offs that carry trash from streets to the ocean or waste from landfills that's blown into or carried to waters. Larger objects can inhibit a shark and damage its body or airways causing it injury or death. Piggybacking off this, climate change is completely unpredictable just as shark migration is. Studies have shown that some sharks like great whites, tiger sharks, and bull sharks prefer warmer waters. On the other hand, other species like greenland sharks or pacific sleeper sharks enjoy the cold water. With that in mind, there is no common space for all sharks. Climate change has warmed our atmosphere intensely which causes more heat beating down on the waters and results in the water temperature rising. Moreover, the sharks that favor colder waters are in crisis. Consequently, these sharks are moving to colder areas which will shift their habitats. As explained before, these predators regulate species in the water so that overpopulation does not occur. Furthermore, it is valuable to understand humans' major impact on not just sharks, but all species. Such actions listed above are important to note when on your big fishing trip to the Gulf Coast or when you throw your empty soda bottle on the ground. Knowing the consequences of your actions ahead of time will cause you to think again when making a decision that won’t benefit our environment.


- Fisheries, NOAA. “The Effects of Climate Change on Sharks.” NOAA,

- Yeung, Jessie. “Shark and Ray Populations Have Dropped 70% and Are Nearing 'Point of No Return,' Study Warns.” CNN, Cable News Network, 28 Jan. 2021,

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