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Summary
Basking Sharks, Economic, and Politics Martin Well’s book Civilization and the Limpet” is an assemblage of essays on aquatic organisms. The fourth chapter, which is also the fourth essay "Basking sharks, economic, and politics" focuses on the Basking sharks, which are considered to be amongst the largest fish…
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Download file to see previous pages... The chapter addresses the ambiguous nature of the behaviors of basking sharks. Wells points out that very few facts are known about the basking sharks, which makes it almost impossible to come up with ways to preserve it. It is among the most sought fish species to an extent that it has been declared as an endangered species yet its mating and breeding habits are mysterious. This has made it almost impossible for zoologists to protect their young ones artificially. Irrespective of its large size, the basking shark has not been able to escape from the human impacts. It is quite unclear why the basking sharks choose to stay close to the water surface where planktons are minimal. Additionally this behavior exposes them to the danger of being fished. Though there have been regulations set to regulate the fishing of basking shark, it becomes impossible to avoid trapping the off springs of basking shark since it is hard to tell their whereabouts. However, Wells criticizes the enthusiasm with which humans harpoon the endangered species whenever they can. The mating habits of the basking sharks and their behaviors are incomprehensible to many. Even to the marine zoologists know too little to compile a history of this organism. One of the least understood behavior is the migration of the basking sharks to the bottom of the ocean during winter. ...
Unlike other types of fish where age can be predicted by observing the scales, sharks have no scales. Vital information such as the rate of reproduction amongst the basking sharks remains unknown. Irrespective of the fact that basking sharks are often harpooned or netted, it is almost impossible to capture a pregnant female. According to Wells (76) the only pregnant female that has ever been captured, in 1936, gave birth to five living young ones ascertaining that basking sharks are viviparous like other sharks. This is quite strange and makes it hard to determine the growth rate of basking sharks. The ratio of males to females is unknown in addition to the unknown mating habits. It is hard to contemplate of an organism considered the second largest fish that is often harpooned, yet so little is known about it. The attempts made to track the movements of basking sharks to see if it could help reveal a little about their life history were unsuccessful. Wells attributes this to the unwillingness of any authorities to fund the operations. This is because most people view conservative efforts as irrelevant. Since animals migrate freely across territorial and economic boundaries, it becomes nobody’s business to ensure that they are protected. The same individual who do so little to protect the endangered species end up being the beneficiaries of the over exploitative fishing behaviors exhibited towards the species. Zoologists who are concerned with the welfare of animal species have little say particularly on issues regarding fishing of sharks for economic gain. Their efforts to give advice on measures that can be taken to protect endangered species are ignored by those who fear that ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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