Each hour it is estimated that 11,417 sharks are killed by humans, that adds up to around 100 million being killed each year. In comparison, in 2017 only 5 humans were killed by shark attacks.
Today, July 14th 2018, is Shark Awareness Day and to celebrate and participate we wanted to provide you with some interesting facts, myths and statistics about sharks that could potentially change the way you see these ancient creatures.
Myth #1: Shark Attacks Happen All The Time
This simply isn't true, in 2017 there were a total of 155 cases globally of shark attacks, of these only 5 were fatal, 88 were unprovoked, 12 were doubtful and 4 unconfirmed.
Check out more statistics from Florida Museum
Myth #2: Nothing Can Kill A Great White
With the Great White Shark being sat near the top of the food chain it is a common misconception that they are untouchable, however this isn't the case as in 2017 it was recorded that 5 carcasses of great whites washed up on the shores of South Africa, all had holes puncturing the muscle wall between the pectoral fins and their livers were missing. It was later confirmed that Orcas had been responsible and were in fact hunting the great white sharks.
Myth #3: All Sharks Are Predators Who Will Eat Anything
There estimated to be over 500 species of sharks swimming in the worlds oceans, each species is different from the last and they all have different food preferences. For instance whale sharks, the biggest fish in the sea, eats only tiny plankton, while the bonnethead shark gets some of its nutrition from seagrass (an underwater plant). Tiger sharks have even been found with license plates and nails in their stomachs! However, most sharks are carnivorous and eat animals ranging from crustaceans (like crabs and lobsters) to squid, fish and marine mammals like seals and sea lions.
Myth #4: Sharks Are Dumb, Blood Hungry Animals
A shark’s brain is a complex organ belonging to a large and sophisticated animal. When a great white shark is full-grown its brain measures at about 2ft long! They are efficient predators with an acute sense of smell, hearing and sight. They can detect their prey’s scent over a great distance. A sharks sensitive eyes can see clearly even in the dim light of the ocean depths.
So to summaries, we are a bigger threat to sharks than they are to us! Sharks are essential members of the ocean and it’s up to us to ensure their survival.Find out how you can help to protect sharks.
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