Today my dives were cancelled because of rough conditions. This occasionally happens, so instead of diving I watched a documentary on sharks. It’s called Sharkwater. I am quite aware of the urgency sharks of all species are facing all around the world but I had no idea how much we depend on them. What I really took from this video was that all creatures that breathe air are dependent on the ocean and it’s tiny creatures called phytoplankton. Phytoplankton are responsible for creating 70% of the oxygen we breathe. Now these tiny organisms are the base of the food chain, meaning that larger animals “graze” on them creating food for even larger animals, such as sharks. Sharks are one of the most dominant predators in the ocean. They have been around for 450 million years, and have survived 5 major extinctions. Sharks play a huge roll in shaping ecosystems, pushing physical and behavioral adaptations in species to survive. They feed on a variety of animals from seals, to fish, crustaceans to even phytoplankton itself. By functionally eliminating sharks from their ecosystems, we are create an inbalance in how fish population grow. What can happen is as some populations grow without any regulation from predators. These populations can overfeed on phytoplankton, the organisms that provides 70% of our oxygen. Not only will that collaps the oceans ecosystem, but it will suffocate our own. We need sharks to regulate fish populations to keep a balance.
I am working on spreading awareness about the ocean through my diving. I get overwhelmed when each problem I learn about has gotten so bad that it threatens our existence. However when I step back, issues like marine debris, shark fining, and coral bleaching; they are all connected. It comes down to individuals dedicated to living their lives within nature. Not separating our needs from the worlds needs. We don’t need the governments of the world to patrol international waters. We need the people of the world to care for their resources like they were their children.