Each Year over 73,000,000 Sharks are slaughtered for their fins. The Fins are sold to restaurants to meet the demand for Shark Fin Soup, a tasteless broth consumed as a status symbol in many Asian countries.
It it said that Shark Finning is one of the biggest industries on the planet, up there with oil, drugs and weapons.
The general public are not concerned about Shark Finning as the shark is the center of a fear based misunderstanding popularised by movies like JAWS. Sharks also receive bad press every time someone gets attacked by a Shark, adding to the reputation that Sharks are a sociopaths and man eaters.
This is far from the truth. Humans are not even on the menu. Sharks are inquisitive creatures and will often take a bite of something, just to find out what it is.
Most human fatalities caused by Sharks are due to the fact that the person bleeds to death.
An Independent Fisheries Survey on Shark Populations has revealed that Shark populations have declined significantly over the past few decades.
Dr. Julia Baum. Since 1986, Dr. Baum’s analysis of logbook data suggests a population decline of 89% in hammerhead sharks, 79% in great white sharks, 65% in tiger sharks, 80% in thresher sharks, 60% in blue sharks, and 70% in mako sharks.
Read More: Southern Fried Science
The problem with destroying apex predators is that it upsets the delicate balance of the food chain.
In some parts of the ocean other predators are starting to move up the food chain. One example of a species is the Squid. Lack of predators combined with climate change is said to be causing an almost plague proportion of Squid.
If we lose an apex predator from the food chain it causes other species to then have population explosions. For example, Sharks and Tuna are the natural predators of the Humboldt squid. If you kill off all the sharks, the squid population (each female can potentially have 20 million “babies”) will begin to overpower the part of the food chain below them. They will eat anything and everything. As they swarm for food they exhaust feeding grounds and fisheries as they move.
Read More: Science.20
Many Marine Scientists have blamed global warming for the population explosion of Squid. Nobody is certain at this stage that this in fact the case. Many Marine Scientist have blamed the increase on the destruction of apex predators… Sharks.
Over Fishing combined with Shark Finning will cause the extinction of Sharks in our oceans. It is not a matter of if.. It is a matter of when.
There are many organisations that are now dedicated to raising awareness around Shark Finning and the decimation of Shark populations.
By raising awareness and dispelling a lot of the “bad press” that Sharks have received, they hope to bring about an understanding of Sharks.
The fact of the matter is that you are more likely to be killed by:
- Car accident
- Falling vending machine
- Heart Attack
- Another Person
Yet we continue to vilify Sharks and do little to ban Shark Finning. The truth is… That with out Sharks, the Ocean will die!
Some organisations and individuals to follow are:
Get on Board with some of these great movements and show your support by following or donating.