Investigating The Truth About Sharks

“I challenge you to investigate these issues on your own. The facts are out there and are easily accessible. Everyone should become aware and take their own educated stance regarding the decline of sharks worldwide.”

Sharks – arguably the most dominant group of predators on our planet. They are stereotyped as voracious animals; equipped with large jaws and teeth that frighten most people. In truth, sharks are a very dynamic group of animals, and science has found these species to be of serious ecological significance to maintaining healthy oceans.

There are approximately 500 species of sharks worldwide. They range in size from a few inches to tens of feet long. Furthermore, sharks differ in their predation strategies (hunt and chase, surface predation, ambush), antipredator techniques (camouflage, escape maneuvers, armor), migration, appearance, abundance, behavior and performance. The diversity and density of shark species is strongly influenced by their respective habitat niche: depth preferences, levels of dissolved oxygen, and temperature variances within the oceans.

The frilled shark (Chlamydoselachus anguineus), is considered a living fossil, and is an extremely rare, deep-water species. Photo credit: http://pix.avaxnews.com/avaxnews/c5/18/000018c5.jpeg

Sharks have been swimming the seas for 420-455 million years, and are considered an evolutionary success, as they have circumvented five major extinctions. This blog provides me with an opportunity to look past their typical stereotypes and see what sharks are really about. I am here to do the research for you, and provide you with the facts. Through the use of figures, videos and text we will explore different topics to help raise your awareness.

I am very keen on making this blog appealing to you. Please comment on any topics that you would be interested in learning about below. I look forward to learning more about these amazing animals with you.

Written by: Scott Seamone, ShARCC Intern

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3 Responses to Investigating The Truth About Sharks

  1. Jordan Langille says:

    Where can I eat sustainable seafood in Halifax? Also, why do we not see sharks all the time in waters off Halifax.

    • brendal.davis says:

      Hi Jordan,

      We’re glad you asked! As Scott mentioned in his blog Worldwide Shark Decline (January 29th) there are iPhone and Android apps that inform consumers on bycatch-friendly seafood.

      You can also visit:
      http://www.davidsuzuki.org/what-you-can-do/food-and-our-planet/choose-sustainable-seafood/
      http://www.seachoice.org/search/
      http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/cr/seafoodwatch.aspx
      http://www.oceanwise.ca/seafood

      Remember to keep checking as these lists are up-dated frequently as new data emerges.

      For a list of restaurants in Halifax that serve sustainable seafood check: http://www.thecoast.ca/halifax/how-to-get-sustainable-seafood/Content?oid=1102509

      The Coast created a list of restaurants in 2009. Keep in mind it’s always best to check with your server since they will be most up-to date on who the suppliers are and what the restaurant is currently serving.

      Best of all Halifax has Off the Hook, a community supported fishery which connects consumers to local, sustainable, fairly traded foods.
      The goal of Off the Hook is to ensure independent, small-scale fishers are represented in a rapidly expanding market.

    • brendal.davis says:

      Hi Jordan,

      To answer your other question, “Why do we not see sharks all the time in our waters’?.

      Even though Atlantic Canada has over 20 species of sharks, several species are pelagic sharks that live offshore, invisible to those people living on the coast. Common pelagic shark species found offshore include the porbeagle, shortfin mako, blue, thresher, and basking shark. However, there are other species, like the black dogfish and deep-water catshark that live in deep ocean environments, so unless your fishing deep, you likely won’t catch a glimpse of these amazing animals. There are coastal species, like the spiny dogfish, but they are not usually within reach of humans (e.g. scuba diving, snorkeling).

      Let us know if you have more questions!

      Thanks again,

      ShARCC

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