Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Saving sharks at the expense of fishermen

We're huge fans of shark biologist Andy DeHart-he's got a way of drilling down to the issue at hand in a way everyone can understand:

“We’re taking sharks out of the water faster than we are putting them back in,” said Andy Dehart, a shark biologist who works with the National Aquarium in Washington.

Sharks are a vital part of the ocean’s eco system because they are an apex predator.

“An apex predator is key in maintaining balance,” said Ray Owczarzak, an assistant curator at the National Aquarium in Baltimore. “They eliminate the weakest population of fish so the biggest and strongest are the breeding animals.”

Without sharks, the ocean would be out of whack: In North American Atlantic water, Hammerhead Sharks eat Cownose Rays, which feed on Bay Scallops. If there are no sharks, the ray population explodes and eats the scallops, leaving fewer scallops for people to eat.

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