I always enjoy seeing new marine and freshwater blogs emerging and in an attempt to support one new blogs I welcome David Shiffman as a guest author:
My name is David, and I’m new to the world of science blogging. I’m a graduate student in Charleston, South Carolina, and my research focuses on shark ecology and conservation.
My friends at Fish and Aquatic News were kind enough to let me write a guest post here to encourage you to check out my blog, where you can learn lots about sharks, the threats they face, and how you can help! We frequently have dialogues with the public and other members of the shark conservation and marine science community through comments, and we’d love to have you all participate!
I write as WhySharksMatter on the marine science blog
As you can tell from my handle, I believe that sharks are not only incredible animals worthy of respect, but they are important- they matter. Environmentalists will agree that conservation in general is a good thing. However, my goal is not just to convince those already predisposed to agree with me. Through my speaking engagements, classes I teach, and my writings, I hope to convince the general public that sharks matter and that we should help them.
I will never, in a career that I hope to devote to public education about sharks, claim that sharks are more important than people are. Though there are many people on this planet who I personally care far less about than I care about sharks, it would be downright insane to make that argument. Instead, I will try to convince all who will listen that humans are better off with sharks than we are without sharks. Human jobs and human interests are well served by protecting sharks.
There are three things I hope to convince you all about sharks during my time as a blogger at Southern Fried Science. I will expand on each of these-and more- in future posts.
1) Sharks are important to the ecosystem and the economy due to their roles as apex and keystone predators. Shark population declines have led to collapses in commercially important fisheries worldwide, and the loss of coral reef habitats has been attributed to the loss of sharks.
2) Sharks are in big trouble around the world! Overfishing and bycatch has led many species to drop in population almost 90% in my lifetime- and I’m not old enough to rent a car yet. By some estimates over 100 million sharks are killed a year, one of the least sustainable fisheries on Earth.
3) You can help! Whether you’re a professional scientist, a student (grad school, college, or even high school), or a member of the general public, there is something that you can do.
I hope you’ll stop by my blog regularly, read my writings and contribute to our dialogues through commenting! If anyone ever has any questions, I would love to answer them- I check SouthernFriedScience daily.
(Some material taken from SouthernFriedScience)