Thursday, March 14, 2013

Sharks, Ahoy!

I just an amazing statistic: 100 million sharks were killed last year, comprising 6.4% of the shark population. That means there are nearly 1.5 billion sharks in the oceans.

Given that sharks live within 150 feet (0.3 miles) of the surface, and the oceans cover 139.4 million square miles, each shark has only 0.003 cubic miles of ocean to have to themselves. They share space but that still seems pretty small. It's a space equal to 1/3 of a mile in area and 150 feet in depth.

What are the chances of finding a shark within a 9 city-block area? From the statistics it would seem to be pretty good, unless they're all concentrated in one area. According to some, they can be found everywhere but tend towards the warmer waters and tend to be more coastal. Thus, the odds of finding a shark along the coasts in warmer areas would have to increase.

So can there really be 1 billion sharks in the oceans?

I'll leave it to the experts, but it seems really high. I've only seen one shark in many excursions in the oceans. Maybe I go where they aren't, or as soon as I jump in, they are immediately repelled to some corner hiding in fear from big, bad me, staying just out of sight 1 city block away. Or they have stealth technology and they're harmlessly closer than I realize. Oh, my!

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