How Many Sharks are Killed a Year

Around the world, human presence and intervention in their natural habitat pose a persistent danger to shark species.

These majestic marine carnivores are routinely killed by hunters and fisherman, whether on purpose or by accident. According to some estimates, 100 million sharks are slaughtered worldwide each year. Shark fishing is to blame for the bulk of these murders.

How Many Sharks Killed Per Year: Final Thoughts

Whatever your opinion on sharks, one thing is certain: the likelihood that you will be killed by one is extremely remote.

Contrary to what popular culture may suggest, sharks are killed at an alarmingly high rate when compared to the rate at which they murder humans.

In order to improve the situation, efforts should be taken to decrease shark finning and fishing.

Never attempt to kill a shark if you ever come across one. Instead, in an effort to protect their surviving population, allow these animals to freely traverse the waters.

Why are humans killing 100 million sharks every year?

Experts have warned that some species of sharks might become extinct if humans continue to kill an estimated 100 million of them every year.

The largest contributor to the staggering number, directly responsible for the death of over half of the sharks, is consumption of shark fin soup, particularly in China and Vietnam, according to studies.

The soup had previously only been served at affluent Chinese banquets and weddings, but the country’s economic prosperity opened it up to a larger audience, tripling its usage between 1985 and 2001.

Shark hunting has expanded to suit the increase in demand, with the majority of hunters putting the shark back into the ocean after slicing off its fin.

According to Mark Meekan, marine biologist at the Australian Institute of Marine Science, “Shark flesh tends to be of poor value, but shark fin soup is what’s driving the sector and became the single greatest cause for such high number.”

Sharks lack the biological capacity to withstand intensive fishing. They take a very long time to develop, produce few young, and grow slowly. The population declines if you fish them heavily.

According to Yvonne Sadovy of the Swire Institute of Marine Science, Hong Kong serves as the primary port of entry for nearly half of all dried shark fins exported internationally.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature has designated about 33% of the shark species whose fins are sold in Hong Kong as Threatened.

Sharks Deaths Due To Fishing

Millions of creatures are trapped in fishing nets and shark nets every year, including numerous sharks as well as dolphins, turtles, and whales. Sharks quickly exhaust themselves as they fight to release themselves. Their frail bodies crumble, smothering them and crushing their organs.

Why Are So Many Sharks Killed?

Shark finning is the principal cause of the fast fall in the global shark population, according to scientists.

Shark finning is a special kind of shark fishing when the only goal is to catch shark skin and flesh, which may then be sold or eaten for food.

The sharp decline in shark population after 1970 can be attributed to the rate of finning, which has substantially grown since 1970.

Shark fin soup is a well-liked delicacy in China and other East Asian nations, where the preparation of the dish depends on a steady shark finning business.

After being de-finned, many sharks are cruelly released back into the water, where many of them tragically bleed to death since they are without a vital body component that allows them to swim.

Shark Fishing

Shark species that are considered to be harmful are targeted using shark nets, which are then killed. As a result, they are to blame for the demise of several shark species in addition to numerous other defenseless animals, including priceless endangered species.

Despite not being built to catch sharks, fishing nets indiscriminately catch any animal unlucky enough to be in the water they are pulled through.

Sharks are also hunted for their fins, flesh, skin, and liver oil, among other things. Their exquisite skins are utilized to make leather goods. It is perfect since it is supple but quite strong. The fins are valued as a pricey delicacy.

In Japan, a cup of the fabled shark fin soup costs around $100 USD. The hunters frequently just cut the shark’s fin off while it’s still alive and throw it back into the ocean to die a protracted, agonizing death in order to save time (and, consequently, money).

The terrible impact of these fishing nets was shown in the late 1980s when 32 Japanese fishing boats set out on a quest to gather three million squid. They employed drift nets, which are simply pulled across the sea and catch anything that is in their way.

They also captured (and subsequently killed) more than 58 000 blue sharks, 52 fur seals, 914 dolphins, 141 porpoises, 25 puffins, and 22 marine turtles by the time their expedition was through.

How Many Humans Are Killed By Sharks?

The annual number of sharks killed by people is nowhere near the number of sharks killed as a result of human activity.

Six to eight humans per year are murdered by sharks for every 100 million sharks that die each year.

It doesn’t seem fair that there are 100 million sharks for every six humans, and the way that sharks are portrayed in popular culture only makes people’s perceptions of these marine predators worse.

By conventional definitions, the odds of being killed by a shark are extremely low—3,748,067 to 1.

In comparison, you’re more likely to die from a serious fall or even from home improvement equipment. It would appear that humans should be the ones who should fear sharks more than the other way around.

How Do We Protect Sharks from Shark Finning?

Because of how they are portrayed in movies and on television, many people are afraid of sharks, yet they only claim the lives of about ten people year on average. In the meantime, people kill more than 100,000,000 sharks annually. Two to three sharks each second, or more than 11,000 sharks per hour.

We Need Sharks To Survive and Thrive

This behavior is as terrible as human exploitation of animals in the United States and other nations. The same way that dehorning dairy cows or cutting chicks’ beaks and allowing them to suffer is done for the purpose of producing and consuming food. Shark finning has similar effects on ecosystems and biodiversity as land animal husbandry.

The population of sharks’ prey is growing as shark numbers are rapidly declining. Why does this matter? because the ocean need equilibrium to maintain its delicate ecosystem. Sharks reproduce slowly and mature slowly, making it challenging to replenish the population that has been decimated for shark fins.

The ocean’s species variety falls and vegetation is overconsumed when their prey begin to eradicate other species.

Sharks and other apex predators are necessary to support the intricate ocean ecosystem and preserve its abundant biodiversity.

Impact Of Shark Fishing

Numerous detrimental effects, both direct and indirect, are caused by the hunting or slaughter of sharks. These consist of:

Sharks are scavengers. Sharks’ natural prey, a variety of other species, are disrupted in their natural order by the mass extinction of these marine predators. They interact differently, which has an impact on the health and balance of other species.

In the absence of its hunter, the shark’s usual prey may multiply enormously, leading to side effects that are hard to foresee or manage.

Entire age- or gender-groups of sharks are frequently wiped off by mass kills. Their structure is fundamentally altered by this. For instance, aggression rises when males are unable to mate with enough females. Alternately, children are abandoned to fend for themselves while adults are abruptly snatched from them.

Some of the larger species of shark feed on smaller sharks. Due to a scarcity of food, the bigger species (which may even be protected) suffer and eventually perish when they are slaughtered.

For The Love of Sharks

When I was younger, I used to keep track of the days and hours until the start of Shark Week. I was excited to learn more about the magnificent great white, crafty mako, brash bull shark, and beautiful whale shark.

I observed every minute I could to learn more about the strange underwater environment and these ancient fish, constantly in awe of their beauty and effectiveness. However, when I watched television, I understood that sharks were and still are in risk of being extinct. And as a result, all living things on our planet are.

The shark attacks that are frequently shown during Shark Week these days do not characterize sharks. They are much more than just a threat. Although they are apex predators, sharks are not distinct from humans.

Sharks are sentient organisms who are an integral element of the planet’s healthy ocean ecology. Humans have just recently emerged as their top predator, despite having survived for more than 400 million years.

According to a report published in 2020, 77 percent of big shark and ray species face extinction. Shark finning is one behavior that puts the millions of years of shark life at danger due to overfishing.

Human Consumption Of Sharks

Comparatively speaking to the shark’s overall size, the liver is enormous. The key substance that keeps the shark afloat is an oil that is significantly less dense than water.

This oil has been discovered by humans to be mineral-rich and beneficial for producing a variety of goods. However, there is nothing in shark liver oil or anything that can be manufactured with it that can’t be done with vegetable oil, therefore killing these creatures for this reason is utterly pointless.

What is Shark Finning?

If you are unfamiliar with this topic, let’s begin with a definition of shark finning. Shark finning is the cruel practice of chopping off a shark’s fins and plunging the remaining body into the water while it’s still alive, where it will drown, bleed to death, or be devoured by other marine life.

Sharks must swim in order for water to pass through their gills and deliver oxygen in order for them to “breathe.” However, sharks without fins are unable to swim, cannot flee from predators, and cannot breathe, and they sink to the bottom of the ocean.

Every type of shark is affected by shark finning, from hammerheads to great whites. A fin is a fin. Sadly, many shark species are now classified as vulnerable or endangered, and several are in danger of going extinct.

Why Do People Take Shark’s Fins?

Sharks are typically slaughtered for a delicacy called shark fin soup, which is highly prized both economically and culturally in China. Sharks are occasionally taken as bycatch in human fisheries.

Since shark fin soup has been prized as a delicacy for many years, there hasn’t been much of a decline in demand, which encourages fisheries to continue shark finning.

Additionally, any size, age, or species of shark may be caught using the commercial fishing method, which also frequently kills sea turtles, dolphins, and other marine mammals.

Sharks who have had their fins removed are usually tossed back into the sea to drown since their fins have a far higher market value than the remainder of the shark. Instead of keeping the entire shark on board, they would like to maintain the space aboard the fishing boat for additional fins.

Legislation

To prevent the hunting of specific shark species, some nations have passed laws. Typically, species that are protected are those that mature sexually at a later age, have fewer litters at a time, and have longer intervals between them.

These animals are unable to reproduce at a rate that outpaces hunting. As a result, they face a grave threat of extinction if people continue to murder them without regard for their intentions. Examples of such animals are the Great White Shark and the Grey Nurse Shark.