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Maintaining the Balance
The role of the “apex” or top predator in an ecosystem can not be underestimated. The depletion or removal of sharks is likely to destabilise marine ecosystems and effect prey species in ways that cannot currently be predicted.
Biodiversity is the variability among living organisms and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems.
Many marine experts believe that sharks are vital in maintaining marine biodiversity and concern has been raised that some species may become extinct before their ecological role is fully understood.
Maintaining Genetic Fitness
Predators by nature target the 'easiest to catch' prey specimens. This invariably results in sick and weaker fish being caught first. Through this process the weaker genes are removed from the pool, ultimately maintaining the overall genetic "fitness" of prey populations.
Sharks are Vulnerable
Sharks are typically slow growing creatures with low reproductive capacities. This means that high levels of unnatural mortalities can quickly push shark populations to the brink of collapse and ultimately extinction.