Taking this further, let’s look at the Shark, and specifically the Great White Shark. Being the Apex Predator, the removal of this creature will cause a top down effect on organisms that are lower on the food chain. For instance, it has been seen in some parts of the ocean where the population of the main predator has been reduced, resulting in the main prey then increasing and eventually eating themselves out of their food source! This then changes the entire ecology of the area. Logically, should the White Shark become extinct, it’s main food source, being seal, sea lion etc. would explode, which would then mean that a great strain would be placed on their main food source, being fish etc.
Great White Sharks as well as most other shark species, have a very low reproduction cycle, with gestation periods ranging between 18 and 24 months, and reproductive maturity only presenting in the sharks 7 to 10th year, the number of pups being born varying; with the Great White’s only looking at between 5 and 10 at a time, and as with these sharks, reproduction only happens twice, rarely three times in the sharks’ entire lifespan, extinction is a very real and very prominent threat!
Though the Great White Shark is now protected in many parts of the world, we need to campaign to have it protected the world over, with the other threatened species of the ocean, because as we have seen in this small demonstration above, that even though the Great White Shark may strike fear into the hearts of some, with visions of a mindless killing machine, indiscriminately chasing and biting everything in its path, he is critical and plays a complex and vital role in our lives and the life cycles of all creatures in the interwoven eco-systems of the world.
Please take the time to think before you throw anything on the ground, or in our oceans. Also, please be aware that we have to share this wonderful world with all the incredible creature that are here with us! Let’s ban together against illegal poaching, finning and any form of canned killing, let’s think of tomorrow and what is being left for future generations!
Till we meet again, keep that toothy grin!
By Nadine Bentley