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Depletion of Sharks Hurts Ecosystem, Study Says
March 29, 2007 - The New York Times
By Henry Fountain

For years, conservationists have warned about over fishing of large sharks in the northwestern Atlantic, as the demand for meat and fins, coupled with slow growth and reproduction rates of many species, has caused sharp declines in populations of hammerheads, duskies and other sharks. …“People are always asking me why we should care about sharks,” said Ellen Pikitch, a marine biologist at the University of Miami and executive director of the Pew Institute of Ocean Science, a major funder of the study. “This is a great example of why sharks matter to the broader ecosystem.” Dr. Pikitch described the paper as a “classic,” and said it would inspire others to examine data in search of similar effects, called trophic cascades, which she said “are going to be seen more and more in the oceans.”

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