The Charter Opinions
Dangerous creatures, lurking in the water, waiting for an innocent victim to swim too close… or not. Contrary to popular belief, even though sharks can be quite dangerous, they aren’t the bloodthirsty monsters that some movies portray them as. Some species of sharks can actually be friendly. This fearful attitude that a lot of people have toward them is really damaging to the sharks, of which many species are endangered. It is up to people to raise awareness and end the stigma surrounding sharks.
Sharks are predatory animals, but humans aren’t their prey. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) website, “Sharks are opportunistic feeders, but most sharks primarily feed on smaller fish and invertebrates. Some of the larger shark species prey on seals, sea lions, and other marine mammals.”
So if sharks don’t want to eat humans, why do people get attacked? When a shark attacks someone, it is usually because of the shark mistaking a human for the types of creatures they prey upon. When a shark does bite someone, they tend to let go after realizing that what they just grabbed wasn’t something they want to eat. However, because of how strong sharks are, that accidental bite can do a lot of damage.
Statistically speaking, there are a lot of things that are more likely to kill you than sharks, and kill more people a year on average. These include: tripping and falling, lightning, champagne corks, falling coconuts, cows, mosquitos, and vending machines. According to the National Geographic website, “You have a 1 in 63 chance of dying from the flu and a 1 in 3,700,000 chance of being killed by a shark during your lifetime.”
As I said before, many species of sharks are endangered. This is because of humans. We kill many of them a year, and while the number of sharks near the Oregon coast has increased, sharks are still threatened.
“The biggest threat to sharks, skates, and rays is overfishing. Shark fins are particularly sought after for both traditional Chinese medicine and shark fin soup – considered a delicacy in Asia.” says the See The Wild website.
Sharks are a very important part of the ecosystems that they belong to. They have the crucial job of keeping smaller creatures’ populations in check. Without sharks, the populations that they usually control boom, throwing off the ocean’s balance.
The bad reputation sharks have for being vicious, man-eating predators needs to end. Sharks are very important creatures, and while it is okay to be afraid of them, they aren’t out to get us.
“Human Shark Bait.” National Geographic. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2017.
Edmonds, Molly. “Shark Facts vs. Shark Myths.” WWF. World Wildlife Fund, n.d. Web. 29 April 2017.
“25 Shocking Things More Likely to Kill You than a Shark.” KAFE 104.1. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 April 2017.
US Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “Do Sharks Eat People?” NOAA’s National Ocean Service. N.p., 01 June 2013. Web. 29 April 2017.
“Shark Threats | Fishing, Bycatch, and Habitat Degradation.” SEEtheWILD Wildlife Conservation Travel. N.p., 09 Feb. 2017. Web. 29 April 2017.