A Brief Look at Human Impacts on Sharks

Published on 05. April 2017

A Brief Look at Human Impacts on Sharks

Strickland J.


This brief review examines the many human activities that threaten sharks, their impacts, and the implications for the ecosystems that rely upon these apex predators. As keystone species, sharks play a crucial role in maintaining healthy ecosystems by asserting top-down forces on trophic webs and keeping prey populations healthy and in balance. However, sharks’ slow growth rates, low fecundity and late sexual maturity means they are highly vulnerable to human impacts. Here the author looks at some human practices, including overfishing, shark finning, and lethal management programs designed to keep bathers safe. Examples of the detrimental and sometimes catastrophic effects of these practices are also examined and a brief commentary of the current trends in attitudes and efforts towards shark conservation is undertaken.

Journal of Aquaculture & Marine Biology, 2017, Volume 5 Issue 4: 00126
DOI: 10.15406/jamb.2017.05.00126


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