222: Trophic Cascade

A trophic cascade is an ecological phenomenon triggered by the addition or removal of top predators, involving changes in populations of both predator and prey through the food chain which often results in dramatic changes in the ecosystem. Shark, manta ray, totoaba, bahaba: all are aggressively harvested from the sea for supposed medicinal properties and status. In this episode of World Ocean Radio, host Peter Neill will ask, "Who is the top predator here?" and, "If certain endangered species do in fact contain medicinal value, are there not other, more supportive ways to meet demand without decimating supply?" 

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Peter Neill, host of World Ocean Radio, provides coverage of a broad spectrum of ocean issues from science and education to advocacy and exemplary projects. World Ocean Radio, a project of the World Ocean Observatory, is a weekly series of brief audio essays available for syndicated use at no cost by community radio stations worldwide. Contact us for more information.

 

Image: Shark fins drying in the sun cover the roof of a factory building in Hong Kong. Credit: AFP

Resources from this episode:
China is Plundering the Planet's Seas | Gywnn Guilford, The Atlantic
About Trophic Cascade