Did you know that out of 63 species of sharks found in Malaysian waters, only the whale shark is protected under the Fisheries Act 1985? Apart from encounters separated by reinforced aquarium glass, Malaysians’ interaction with sharks mostly extend to either recreational or gastronomical. What many people are unaware of is that these top predators help keep the ecosystem in balance.
Fact #1: Sharks keep the food web in balance.
The ocean ecosystem is made up of very intricate food webs. Sharks are at the top of these webs and are considered by scientists to be “keystone” species, meaning that removing them causes the whole structure to collapse. For this reason, the prospect of a food chain minus its apex predators may mean the end of the line for many more species.
Fact #2: Sharks keep prey populations healthy
Fact #3: Sharks keep sea grass bed and other vital habitats healthy
When sharks are eliminated, the marine ecosystem loses its balance. In the parts of the ocean where sharks have been fished out of existence, we can see the dangerous result of removing the top predator from an ecosystem. Sadly, sharks are being killed for their fins for shark fin soup, a delicacy that has assumed cultural value but is in no way important for human survival or health. Hence, hunting for sharks can result in the loss of important foods that are key for our survival.
SHARK WEEK, television’s longest-running and eagerly awaited summer TV event returns to Discovery Channel for its 29th installment this July. In celebration of its anniversary, the most decorated Olympian of all time, Michael Phelps will be making a splash with the most interesting race of his career, and gets schooled on everything ‘shark’ at the Bimini Shark Lab. Chris Noth also joins in on the SHARK WEEK action and finds out there’s more to New York than Carrie Bradshaw as he narrates SHARKS AND THE CITY: NEW YORK. SHARK WEEK delivers all-new groundbreaking shark stories incorporating innovative research technology to reveal compelling insight on some of the most unique shark species in the world. Finally, this is the first year in the franchise’s history that SHARK WEEK will sync up around the world, airing during the same week on Discovery Channel in more than 220 countries and territories.
SHARK WEEK will be premiering with two episodes back-to-back on Discovery Channel (Astro Channel 551), starting on Monday, 24 July 2017 @ 9pm and will run until Friday, 28 July 2017.