Ecological Importance
 
DISCARDED SHARK CARCASSES
 
 

The role of the “apex” or top predator in an ecosystem can not be underestimated. The depletion or removal of sharks is likely to destabilize marine ecosystems and effect prey species in ways that cannot currently be predicted.

Biodiversity is the variability among living organisms and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems.

Many marine experts believe that sharks are vital in maintaining marine biodiversity and concern has been raised that some species may become extinct before their ecological role is fully understood.


Predators by nature target the 'easiest to catch' prey specimens. This invariably results in sick and weaker fish being caught first. Through this process the weaker genes are removed from the pool, ultimately maintaining the overall genetic "fitness" of prey populations.

Sharks are typically slow growing creatures with low reproductive capacities. This means that high levels of unnatural mortalities can quickly push shark populations to the brink of collapse and ultimately extinction.



One of the best ways to combat ignorance and fear of the unknown is by education and conservation-minded shark documentaries and movies. (Great White Shark – A Living Legend, Sharkman, Beyond Fear and Shark Nights)

Even in this day and age, in South Africa, the first country to protect the great white shark, Marine and Coastal Management still issues permits to the Natal Sharks Board and allow them to use Gill nets / Shark nets to actively target predatory sharks, especially the Great White Shark. The Shark Board’s protection through eradication policy has led to huge, irrevocable and untold destruction of the animal life along the Southern African coastline.

This practice is economically motivated as towns where shark nets are present are more popular and profitable as tourist destinations than towns without nets. The best way to combat this practice and aid in conservation is to avoid and not to spend money in towns where shark nets are present.

Through research done by Marine and Coastal Management (MCM) and Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) in 2004 the Great White Shark got a C.I.T.E.S appendix 2 listing, listing these animals as vulnerable and emphasizing the need for White Shark products to be monitored and declared. The Great White Shark is the first predatory fish to get a C.I.T.E.S appendix 2 status.

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    WHAT WE DO


  • We educate people, so that they are more informed and hopefully lose their fear of these incredible animals, by way of documentaries, worldwide educational talks, conferences and Shark Cage Diving.
  • We are making them worth more alive than dead.
  • We support all legitimate research done by MCM free of charge.

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     WHAT YOU CAN DO

 

  • Don’t buy shark products.
  • Report suspicious activities and document them with photos – MCM, Newspapers, Landers Dive Centre.
  • Dive with them, experience them and increase your knowledge so that you in turn can educate and teach others about sharks.
 
Shark Conservation South Africa | Shark Cafe Diving KZN | Protecting Our Apex Predators
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