Blue Water Sharks
Predator species such as sharks actively feed on fishes that dine on phytoplankton, as well as keeping the water-column and ocean floor dynamic.
It’s now believed the destruction of sharks has a direct effect on the air we breathe, and may be a major factor in climate change. Over 70% of the planet’s oxygen originates from the ocean. Phytoplankton are mostly responsible for absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing it as oxygen.
As fisheries collapse, and sharks are exterminated by fishing industries, other populations of herbivorous fish become more abundant. This leads to increased levels of respiration, changes in phytoplankton and production and release of carbon dioxide. The more top predators are removed from the ocean system, the higher the carbon dioxide production – with downstream effects, including ultimately our atmosphere.
A fascinating article on the topic of sharks and ‘Blue Carbon’ is here:
We can thank sharks for the air we breathe! Research has shown that apex predators like sharks and whales help reduce carbon dioxide levels in the ocean, by eating species which in turn eat phytoplankton. Phytoplankton – microscopic plants in our water-table – are mostly responsible for capturing carbon and turning it into oxygen.