Fossils indicate that sharks have existed for over 400 million years. But with humans killing nearly 100 million each year, who knows how long they’ll be around.
Since 1970, shark populations have dropped by over 70%, making some species critically endangered. The main cause of this decline is overfishing. Usually, sharks are caught in nets with other fish, but sometimes they are targeted for their meat or fins.
Ironically, as we continue destroying them, sharks have the potential to help us in many ways. Researchers marvel at how rarely they develop cancer and how rapidly their wounds heal. Their small antibodies may be able to penetrate hard-to-reach places like the brain. Even tracking their movements with tags that monitor ocean conditions may help forecast hurricanes.
Now it’s time for us to help sharks—before it’s too late.