All posts tagged: shark facts

Dive Into Shark School with Jessica Harvey

Sharks are fascinating creatures.  Over the years, sharks have often been misunderstood and this helped create a negative perception of sharks.  Gradually, that perception is beginning to shift and sharks are being seen in a more positive light.  If anything, we should be more afraid of not seeing sharks.  Our marine environment has a delicate balance, and everything is interconnected.  Sharks play a vital role in maintaining the health of our oceans, keeping marine ecosystems in balance and our coral reefs in check.  Seeing a healthy population of sharks is typically a positive indicator of a healthy coral reef.   The Cayman Islands is a designated shark sanctuary.  Sharks and rays are a protected species under Cayman’s National Conservation Law.  Here in the Cayman Islands, there are eight species of sharks commonly found in our waters including: Great Hammerhead, Nurse shark, Lemon shark, Caribbean Reef shark, Blacktip, Tiger shark, Oceanic Whitetip and Silky shark. Amongst the variety of shark species found in the Cayman Islands, some species of sharks reside in Cayman waters all year …

Weird and Wonderful Sharks

Sharks have been roaming the oceans for over 400 million years and there are about 500 different species that we know of.  They are a majestic and fascinating creature.  As apex predators, sharks play a key role in maintaining the health and the balance of the ocean.  Sharks control populations of various marine species that fall below them on the food web, keeping populations at a healthy size and removing weak and sick individuals. All of which supports a healthy marine ecosystem and biodiversity.  Focusses research continues to allow us to learn more about the characteristics and behaviour of various shark species to give us a better understanding of their important role in the marine environment. Sharks are present in all oceans, and a few species including the Bull shark are able to survive in fresh water. Unlike boney fish, the skeleton of sharks is made up from cartilage.  Sharks control their buoyancy by constant swimming. The perfectly shaped fins and tail provide lift, while the oily liver also helps with buoyancy. Most sharks, like …

Sharks Under Attack

Recently, I read an article by National Geographic, which brought attention to the shocking fact that 100 million sharks are killed each year.  It is heart breaking that sharks are endangered and being killed at such a rapid rate.  Sharks are incredible animals.  They are integral to ecosystems.  It is so saddening to know that many sharks are caught for their fins, which is completely inhumane.  For instance, “Blue sharks are among the most threatened species of sharks in the world. Trade in shark fins and overfishing have caused them to decline so rapidly that scientists worry about their future recovery.” (Count down the top 10 most threatened sharks.) According to an article by Jennifer Viegas, a whopping “Seventy-three million sharks die each year due to finning alone.” (http://dsc.discovery.com/sharks/shark-finning.html)) In addition to this, the article notes that sharks are not just caught and killed for their fins, that “millions of deaths attributed to fisheries by-catch, environmental problems, intentional hunting for shark meat, leather, tourist souvenirs and more. In killing the sharks, however, humans are hurting …