Shark Business | Why we need sharks?
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Many sharks play a vital role in maintaining the health of our oceans. Some species are top predators, helping to regulate species abundance and diversity while maintaining balance throughout an ecosystem that revolves around complex food webs. Scientific studies demonstrate that the removal of sharks can have an impact that cascades down the food chain. This infographic contains just a few examples of how large predatory sharks contribute to the marine environment and why they are so important.


– Ferretti, F., Worm, B., Britten, G.L., Heithaus, M.R., Lotze, H.K. 2010. Patterns and ecosystem consequences of shark declines in the ocean. Ecology Letters 13: 1055–1071
– Heithaus, M.R., Frid, A., Wirsing, A.J., Dill, L.M., Fourqurean, J., Burkholder, D., Thomson, J., Bejder, L. 2007a. State-dependent risk-taking by green sea turtles mediates top-down effects of tiger shark intimidation in a marine ecosystem. Journal of Animal Ecology 76, 837–844
– Heithaus, M.R., Wirsing A.,J., Dill, L.M. 2012. The ecological importance of intact top-predator populations: a synthesis of 15 years of research in a seagrass ecosystem. Marine and Freshwater Research 63(11) 1039-1050
– Heithaus, M.R., Frid, A., Vaudo, J.J., Worm, B., Wirsing, A.J. 2010. Unravelling the Ecological Importance of Elasmobranchs. In: Carrier JC, Musick JA, Heithaus MR, editors. Sharks and Their Relatives II: Biodiversity, Adaptive Physiology, and Conservation CRC Press. 611–637
– Ruppert, J.L.W., Travers, M.J., Smith, L.L., Fortin, M.J., Meekan, M.G. 2013. Caught in the Middle: Combined Impacts of Shark Removal and Coral Loss on the Fish Communities of Coral Reefs. PLoS ONE 8(9): e74648