The closest that some of the bravest people are willing to go to a shark is cage diving in Gansbaai. Many of us fear sharks, mistakenly seeing them as nothing more than cruel, man-eating creatures from the deep blue sea. While we are all fed lies by the movies, telling us that given even the smallest chance, sharks will kill us in a second, it must be said that sharks are rather passive, intelligent, curious creatures with absolutely no interest in harming any of us. In fact, more than anything, sharks help us. Below is a list of reasons explaining why we need sharks:
- As the “lions of the sea”, sharks are at the top of the food chain. They keep marine life in a healthy balance, making sure that the ocean itself stays healthy and can accommodate each and every one of its inhabitants.
- By keeping the oceans balanced and healthy, sharks are maintaining the ecosystem that provides over a third of the global human population with food. Furthermore, the sea contributes more oxygen to the planet than all of the forests and rainforests combined. It is, therefore, vital that the ocean is kept as healthy as possible.
- Every studied oceanic ecosystem that sharks have been removed from has had devastating results. Aquatic overpopulation, as well as the collapse of numerous fishing industries (for example, the Chesapeake Bay incident) are just a few of the fast occurring results of the absence of sharks.
- Great White Shark cage diving is also a great source of tourism revenue to many countries. Removing the possibility of such an activity with lead not only to industry collapse, but economic collapse for many places as well.
- Sharks help keep marine life diverse, which, in turn, is beneficial to every other underwater species. An overpopulation of one particular species is fatal to the ocean, breaking the vital balance that is necessary between predators and prey.
Sharks are more helpful than harmful, as they make sure that everything that we need stays in balance and remains healthy. As fearsome as we may think they are, they really have no interest in attacking humans whatsoever and spend their days safeguarding one of our most precious resources.