Sharks are apex predators that have no natural enemies; however, humans are predators of sharks, with an estimated 30 to 100 million sharks are killed every year by fisherman. This has caused many species of sharks to become vulnerable to endangerment.
Sharks are extremely important to the ecosystem. In fact, without sharks, the food chain would drastically change. Since sharks are at the top of the ocean's food chain, they are necessary for keeping the predators of other species in check. Without sharks, the population of other fish and mammals could easily get out of control.
Despite their reputation, sharks are typically non-violent creatures, attacking only when provoked or due to miscommunication when humans inhabit their territories. The great white shark, known for feasting on many larger marine animals, typically doesn't show any interest in killing or eating people.
The IUCN Shark Specialist Group believes that over 16 types of shark and ray species are at risk of extinction based on targeted fishing efforts. Certain sharks have fins used to make soups and household remedies, and fishing lines trap and injure others. The Discovery Channel, which devotes a week of programming to sharks each year, believes that undiscovered species of sharks may become extinct before their discovery.