Tiger Sharks; the Latest Entry on the Endangered Species List
by: Davis Yancy Clegg
This week’s shark adventure takes us to one of the most sought after species of shark in the world. Second in numbers only to everyone’s favorite fear-fish, the Great White, these predators are the oceans perfect trigger for fear. They eat literally, anything. They most do plenty of it too, because these massive creatures have been seen growing to lengths of 16 feet and more. This particular eating habit has dubbed the tiger shark as being an apex predator (literally meaning they attack and eat anything that brings their appetite to the forefront of their oceanic agenda. You may think of a shark’s diet being primarily composed of typical predator-doomed and defenseless fish. In this instance, you will find that the tiger sharks’ tastes are broader, for lack of a more accurate descriptor. This species of shark – like many grey sharks – is found in the moderately temperate and tropical coastal regions. They have also been known to patrol the oceans surrounding Hawaii, Tahiti, Solomon and the Marshall Islands.
Sure, we all have enough respect for sharks and the stories they’ve inspired over time. But, do we really give their phenomenal strength the due diligence in educating students regarding their aggressively effective methods for seizing prey. As for their prey, autopsy-after-autopsy shows that these apex predators have far more than a little mercury from fish in their digestive system. Recently, tiger sharks have been opened up, and the discoveries made by scientist are nothing short of jaw-dropping. Their stomach contents have been known to house the remains of snakes, birds, goats, and even horses. Horses! In fact, tiger sharks care so little about the “foods” they choose to eat, even inedible items have been part of their diet. These items include little league bats, baseballs, license plates, tires, and a variety of sorted plastic goods. Much of their confidence displayed in their aggressive feeding behaviors can be attributed to their incredibly strong jaws. Powerful enough to crack the nearly indestructible shells of sea turtles and clams, these sharks are not to be trifled with! Unfortunately, fishermen heed no such warning. Tiger sharks are relentlessly hunted as a result of the market values placed on their skin, teeth, fins and livers which contain the world’s greatest known concentrations of Vitamin A. Yes, as the saying goes, they are very many fish in the see. However, with over 100 million of these natural wonders being killed for profit every single year, we’ve lost over a billion sharks to commercial fishing and bycatch in only the past 10 years. Not only has this pursuit of flesh resulted in tiger sharks being one of the latest entries on the endangered species list, current practices will directly be responsible for bringing on the extinction of one of the oceans most beautiful apex species.
The tiger shark is considered to be sacred by some native Hawaiians, who think their eyeballs have special seeing powers. Legend suggests that many kings living is historical Hawaiian environment acquired their future decisions by consuming the eye of the Tiger shark. It is said that the mother of the most famous king of Hawaii, King Kamehameha asked for the eyes of the Tiger shark during her pregnancy because they wanted to enhance the leadership qualities of the future king she carried. What’s sacred to some is simply supper and expensive hand cream to others. It’s the world we live in now. If we can’t put an end to, or find an alternative solution to the population decline that’s perpetually worsening, we better find a new planet to continue our existence once our actions render the Earth incapable of sustaining animal and human life. Be Aware. Seek out the knowledge that helps you to become active and back up your environmental views!
We don’t have many shark seeings around here but we do have the best sunsets.
Join us for a relaxing Family friendly Sunset Cruise!