This week’s Fish4Life Challenge Theme is Sharks. Read on to find out more about this amazing animal and how it is affected by fishing.
Sharks are an amazing group of animals that have been in our oceans for around 420 million years – that’s since the time of the dinosaurs! They have evolved into highly specialised, sleek and beautiful predators, and they play an important role at the top of the food chain.
Sharks are slow growing animals, and on average live around 20 to 30 years, and even as long as 100 years. Unlike fish who spawn many eggs, sharks generally produce fewer, more developed offspring - some as few as 2 per breeding cycle.
Shark populations are affected by overfishing, by-catch (when they are unintentionally caught), and shark finning – the act of cutting off the fins of a live shark, then discarding the body back into the ocean to die. Fortunately, this act is banned in Australia. If we continue to remove this top predator at our current rate, we don’t know the eventual impact this will have on the balance of the oceans.
MOVIE – Nick, Marine Mammals Keeper, Taronga Zoo, talks about sharks.
Footage Courtesy of Ovation Media has been sourced from the Documentary “The End of the Line”. Click here to find out more.Other photos and images are provided courtesy of the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) and Greenpeace.
So what can you do?
You may not realise, but often when you eat fish and chips, it is actually shark, under the name of flake. Sometimes products are called or labelled white fish – this a generic name that could refer to anything from shark, perch, cod etc. The problem with these generic names is you don’t know which species you’re eating, and you could very well be eating a species that is currently overfished, such as Gulper sharks or School sharks. So remember when you buy fish, always ask which species it is. Ask for more detail than “flake” or “whitefish” – they are not enough for you to make an informed choice.
How many teeth does a shark have? Find out here.
This week's recipe is BBQ bream.
How did you go with last week's quick quiz? Test your knowledge this week here.