LOS ANGELES, CA - We've all seen movies like Jaws, Sharknado and The Shallows. They make us believe sharks prey on humans and chomp us down like we are pop tarts. In reality, sharks only kill about 5 people each year.
But did you know that people kill roughly 11,417 sharks per hour according to a study published last year in The Journal of Marine Policy. That means that approximately 100 million to as many as 273 million sharks are killed annually by humans.
Sharks may be one of the most feared animals, but they are critical to marine ecosystems and without them the food chain collapses. They are apex predators that control the density and behavior of their prey, which indirectly affects the abundance of species further down the food chain. In 2004, the oyster and scallop industry collapsed due to lack of sharks.
You can do your part to save sharks by avoiding shark products. Here are some tips according to IFLScience. Avoid fish oils made from shark and avoid shark fin soup. Remember, the ocean is their home, not ours. Let's all make an effort to put our fears behind us and protect these amazing animals.