White Shark Preservation

March 21, 2013
The Great White Shark, the fiercest fish in the sea is making a slow comeback, but there is still more to be done before this species can continue without decline. The White Shark species is at the top of the food chain, alongside the killer whale. Great Whites exceed twenty feet in length and weigh over five thousand pounds when they reach adult size. Their main diet is seal, but it varies with their location they are in. Highly developed senses help them hunt for their prey. White Sharks are ambush predators; they may jump out of the water to kill their food or attack from below so the target does not notice where they are. Strangely they don’t rush for animals in a group; they only go for the stragglers.

This great creature is often portrayed as a man eater. To many people it is known as the White Death; once someone sees it, they fear the attack. That is not likely to happen, however the White Shark frequently attacks people only because they are curious; their bite is not a death bite, but more like a taste test. Since the Great White doesn’t have hands to grab anything, it uses it mouth to see if the object is food or not. The likelihood of being bitten by a shark is one in three hundred million; you’re more likely to die in an airplane crash or scuba diving.

One other thing that does the Great White injustice is bad publicity. Just like some movie stars Great Whites get put under the spotlight but not for anything good. The novel and movie Jaws was based on a rogue shark that went on a feeding frenzy. The movie gave people fear of the water; some people would not even go into their bath tubs for fear of being eaten by a shark. At that point, everyone wanted to be Captain Quint, hunting down and killing sharks. This trend greatly decreased the White Shark population.

But not all hope was lost for the Great White. The creator of the 1974 novel Jaws, Peter Benchley, never wished for this to happen. He had never intended his book to be used as an inspiration for genocide of a species. He did everything he could to stop this horror by creating documentaries to show what sharks really were like, prove that they were not a man eater but a majestic creature that is misunderstood. Benchley is not the only one that tried to preserve sharks. The OCEARCH, captained by Chris Fischer and its crew help preserve White Sharks by tagging, taking blood samples, and documenting them to find out where they migrate and live in the vast ocean. What they are doing is phenomenal, but there is so much more we can do to help save these beautiful creatures.

We can put restrictions on fishing in certain parts of the ocean by leaving some sort of signal saying not to fish because White Sharks are in that section. Another thing we can do is find the breeding ground, see where the breeding takes place, and protect the area by making sure no sharks are hunted. That way the fishermen don’t go on a shark-hunting frenzy to make sharks their trophies. We can also find the hatching grounds of the younger sharks and conserve that spot for future generations of White Sharks.

These sharks need to be protected, and the public needs to be behind it. Saying that it will happen is one thing, but putting words into action is a different thing. The media needs to show what the Great White truly is, not a man eater but something that is just as vulnerable as we are. The last thing we want is the predator disappearing and the natural order in the ocean with it. This incredible animal helps keep order, it stops other populations from growing too rapidly. Taking the White Shark out of the equation would leave the ecosystem incomplete and lead to an abundance of something that could harm the oceans. That is why Great White Sharks should be protected.

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