It was a rough ride across the cool waters of Gansbaai, South Africa for renowned shark expert Sara Andreotti. This area used to be the shark capital of the world. But today, the elite hunters, who have survived more than 400 million years, are in serious trouble.
four years ago You will see five to 20 great white sharks per day during peak season. Now, you might be lucky to see a lot of people all year round. Their number was greatly reduced. And sightings of this vicious predator outside the country’s western cape have declined sharply over the past five years.
In the ocean, quiet and peaceful, Andreotti said the lack of sharks was a warning sign.
“It̵7;s also sad. The disappearance of such a large predator,” Andre Otti told CBS News’ Debora Patta.
While out at sea recently with a group of researchers trying to find out why the ocean is silent, Andreotti saw it.For the first time in two years, Andreotti and researchers took a sample from a shark.
“The samples would be an indication of new sharks entering the bay or new sharks in the bay,” she said.
Where have all the other sharks gone?
Scientists like Andreotti and her colleagues believe that long line fishing is one of the main reasons. It targets smaller species of sharks exported to Australia to legally buy fish and chips. Marine biologist Mary Rowlinson explains the problem: This is shark food as well.
“So we are depleting their food resources. And if you deplete your food resources It will create more competition between individuals. This makes it harder for individual great whites to survive,” Rowlinson said.
Then there was an accidental problem with fishermen..
Andreotti said, “You put the big net down. And you’re trying to catch a hague. But you caught a shark Squid and stingrays can be substituted. So it’s collateral damage,” Andreotti said.
Some researchers have blamed the disappearance of the great white whale in another predator, the orca. They say they have chased away the shark population.
But Anderotti didn’t buy it. Killer whales and great white sharks used to live nearby. This area came before without any problems.
“My greater fear was while we were arguing whether they moved or were killed. We have lost some that remain,” she said.
100 miles away in False Bay, another hotspot. Shark populations are also declining dramatically. Seferino Gelderbloem has been a shark detective for twelve years. His job is to keep an eye on great white people. They sound an alarm when they swim dangerously near the surfers. But the sirens had long since been silenced.
“It worries me because I mean they are on the food chain. So they keep the seals intact. So they eat sick and injured people. So they keep the balance,” Gelderbloem said.
If there were no sharks circling the bay There are steadily increasing numbers of seals. More seals means eating more fish. affect the delicate ecosystems of the oceans which is the ocean where we depend on oxygen
Rowlinson said “If you don’t have those top hunters there. Keep everything balanced and in control. Unfortunately, our oceans will eventually die. So protecting the ocean is protecting ourselves.”
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