Aussie scientists say sharks are the unlikely heroes who can help save us from the perils of climate change.
Researchers at Deakin University found that when humans kill sharks they cause instability in the food chain, which can lead to the release of carbon into the Earth’s atmosphere.
Therefore, measures like the West Australian shark cull could be accelerating climate change.
Once there are fewer sharks in the ocean, the apex predator’s prey begin to flourish.
Shark prey, like sea turtles, ingest a large amount of seagrass, which stores vast amounts of carbon.
With more sea turtles around, more seagrass is consumed and more carbon is unlocked.
This carbon is released into the Earth’s atmosphere which accelerates climate change.
The new research comes as an international shark summit takes place in Sydney this week.
Innovative shark detection and prevention measures being discussed include smart drumlines, detection buoys, electronic fencing, shark repellents and shields.
NSW Premier Mike Baird says detection buoys, spotters and drumlines with GPS could be trialled as early as this summer.
Explore for more on these deadly predators here.