Watch Gordon Ramsay’s Shark Bait movie. It is available on Write a paper review of the movie. Include a paragraph explaining why sharks are decreasing at an alarming rate. Explain why we humans should we care. Focus on why the loss of sharks couldpotentially collapse the ocean ecosystems. (Hint: think of food webs, keystone species, and top predators.)

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

There are multiple reasons why shark populations are in decline. Climate change and over fishing (of sharks and shark prey) are two common reasons for why shark population numbers might be decreasing.

As for why humans should care, that is something that you should explain from your own personal viewpoint. Various religions have their own reasons for caring about animal populations. Christians, as an example, feel it is necessary to care for the environment because it relates to their mandate to be stewards of their God's creation; however, even atheists can fervently support the care of nature. Nature is a part of Earth. Earth is humanity's home, so it makes sense to care for your home.

The final part of your question is the most specific because it directs the answer to discuss food chains and food webs within an ecosystem. A food chain is a single path along which organic energy passes along. Most food chains will start with producers. After that will come any number of consumers until the apex predator caps off the food chain. A food web is a variety of food chains that are woven together because one prey species might be a food source in several different food chains.

A food chain/web is a good visual to show the interdependency of organisms within an ecosystem. It is possible to completely remove an organism from a food chain, but that affects the organisms on both sides of the organism that was removed from the food chain. Any organism that depended on the removed species for food risks dying of starvation because that food source is no longer available. More than likely, the removed organism was a consumer of some kind. This means that it is not consuming the preceding species. That might sound like a good thing, but the preceding species will go through a population boom until it overshoots the environment's carrying capacity. Then many of those organisms will die off in order to allow the population to reach some sort of equilibrium with the environment. If sharks, as apex predators, were removed, the prey species will go through this kind of rapid growth followed by death due to overpopulation.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team