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Shark-Infested Waters

Mark Tobola

Shark-Infested Waters

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2 min.
November 9, 2021

I am not a climate activist.  I am not a person who is against climate protection.  I mean, let's be very straightforward here:  I like clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, a healthy environment, etc etc etc.  And it always fascinates me how there are more and more ways to help do my part for taking care of my duties in this regard every year. And it also surprises me how much research is showing surprising places that climate change is being impacted, and often times, by inadvertent accident.

So the news from the BBC talk had an article entitled "The far-reaching benefits of tiger sharks for climate."  It has become apparent that most of us think "shark" and think "brutal, mindless killer" or "Shark attack" or "teeth" or something else along those lines.  But in this article, the author was discussing how researchers in and around Australia were noticing some changes in the oceans around them, and it got them studying what was going on.

The study revealed that the lack of tiger shark population meant the sea cow population was increasing.  The sea cows are eating the seagrass, to the point of digging up the roots and eating them, meaning less seagrass.  And the seagrass, by its' very growth, eats up humongous amounts of carbon dioxide from the water and the atmosphere.  All because the worldwide trend is to kill of sharks...  Because sharks are perceived as being bad.

And sharks are not undeserving of their reputation as brutal killing machines.  Let's be honest, that most of us don't really want a shark to ever bite us.  But those sharks do a lot for the rest of the "system" that makes up our oceans.  And by actively forcing their numbers down, we are inadvertently messing up that system...  Maybe it's something that we need to re-evaluate all over the world's oceans?  Maybe not?  I don't rightly know for certain, but I think it's worth figuring out!


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Mark Tobola

Mark Tobola is a resident of Thorp and weekly columnist.

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