Where have all the sharks gone?

Pitcairn Island Location on Map

Pitcairn Islands are located in the South Pacific Ocean. You can travel northeast from New Zealand to Pitcairn at a distance of 5,528km (3,435 miles).

Sharks are clever and dangerous predators near the top of the marine food chain, with cunning hunting haviors that allow them to get as close to their prey as possible without blowing their cover. These heavy fish are part of a larger food chain in an ecosystem, dependent on a feeding relationship between other smaller organisms that live in the ocean. Sharks are essential to the balance of any marine ecosystem.

Imagine discovering an island that is so pristine and remote, far removed from any mainland that it’s difficult to locate even by experienced navigators. Upon diving into these waters you discover teams of fish swimming in vast networks of diverse marine organisms. After observing this habitat for multiple days and on various islands around Pitcairn, you noticed one important detail is missing from these waters, sharks are missing. 

How is this possible in a clean remote ocean front? Where have all the sharks gone and what caused this to happen? How can this be a balanced ecosystem without sharks to patrol the waters?

Pitcairn and the islands that surround this area are considered one of the most pure waters of the Pacific. With this in mind, Dr. Enric Sala, a marine ecologist, explains this observation and how it is hurting this ecological community.

“No one organization alone is going to save the ocean.” – Enric Sala

LEARN MORE: EXPLORERS BIO | ENRIC SALA

LEARN MORE: PROJECT PITCAIRN – AN UNDERWATER BOUNTY

LEARN MORE: INTERVIEW WITH ENRIC SALA

  1. How does an ecosystem change over time?
  2. Human activities often affect ecosystems in a wide variety of ways. What evidence shows an effect people have on the balance of an ecosystem?
  3. What is our responsibility toward our local ecosystem and the environment in general?


Categories: Science

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59 replies

  1. I think its good to learn about ecosytems

  2. the ocean is a nice place and dangerous place if the plushness hits the ocean the shark and fish can drink the oil and all the fish will die

  3. I like when the sharks where in the camera and i think that that ecosystem has to be be protected.

  4. My favorite part was when the were bumping into the camera and seeing the coral.