Wildlife Adventurer, Steve Backshall, became a Shark Trust patron in 2014. He also acts as ambassador for our No Limits? campaign, which aims to stop uncontrolled shark fishing.

The EU is a global fishing power: of the 280,000 tonnes of sharks reported landed globally in 2012 (roughly equivalent to the weight of 21,000 double decker buses), the EU fleet was responsible for almost 40%. The vast majority of these landings were caught in the Atlantic Ocean. Landings simply can’t go on increasing at this rate without consequences: Porbeagle and Spiny Dogfish populations provide a sobering example, as overfishing has so severely reduced these populations that they are now listed as Critically Endangered in the Northeast Atlantic.

My reaction to this devastation is first of all visceral and emotional. These animals have been around on the planet for over 400 million years. They have more that is unusual and fascinating about their biology than any other animal group, and are the most unfairly maligned of all creatures. However, the reaction must also be scientific. If the world’s oceans have had nearly half a billion years with sharks as the apex predators, then the delicate balance of its food webs must rely on their presence, in complex ways we cannot possibly predict. Lose the sharks, the mighty, mysterious lords of the deep, and our planet’s oceans would be infinitely poorer places – and that’s why I’m supporting the Shark Trust’s No Limits? campaign.

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► Find out more about our No Limits? Campaign