(Original post by kxrrii)
Dude, im lowkey doing the same EE and I'm stuck but my question is : to what extent does consuming shark meat and fins put both the human and shark populations as well as the marine ecosystem at risk.
I just submitted my EE 3 weeks ago yikes, and I put some stuff in my essay that relates to your question. Here are some ideas:
- Looking at biomagnification/bioaccumulation:
- As sharks are apex predators, they are placed at the top of the food chain, where they consume large amounts of toxins that have accumulated in their prey.
- An example would be a neurotoxin produced by cyanobacteria, the neurotoxin is called beta-Methylamino-L-alanine or BMAA, which can cause neurodegenerative disorders and is present in shark fins.
- What is shark fin made of:
- Mainly cartilage and collagen, which has no nutritional value
- Main purpose in shark fin soup is for the texture
- What other chemicals are present in shark fin:
- High in mercury, which can cause permanent nerve and brain damage
- The Science of the Total Environment conducted a study in 2014, where methylmercury, the major source of organic mercury for humans was measured in 50 dried shark fins from 13 different species found in international trade and 50 samples of shark fin soup originating from restaurants across the United State
So I guess you could focus a lot on the health affects on humans from shark fin consumption if you find different examples of toxins/chemicals and their effects.
And then for shark populations and marine ecosystem affects, you can look into how the decrease in population or extinction of an apex predator can affect the ecosystem and the food web and marine biodiversity (eg overpopulation of some shark prey and how that affects organisms below them in the food web)
Also that a decline in shark population could cause some shark species to be extinct soon as sharks mature slowly in comparison to other fish species, can only give birth to 2 to 135 young at a time, have pregnancies lasting from 9-12 months and that they may not reproduce every year due to a resting phase.
Good luck with your EE! I hope you still have plenty of time til yours is due because I did mine last minute and regretted it so much lmao, so as tiring as it is to write your EE do not leave it to the last minute. AND DON'T FORGET TO KEEP REFERRING BACK TO THE MARKSCHEME/ASSESMENT CRITERIA AND CHECK THAT YOU ADDRESS THOSE POINTS OTHERWISE YOUR HARD WORK WILL GO TO WASTE (you can find the markscheme on the IBO website)
Good luck <3