Shark finning continues to be a huge industry in Indonesia despite global concerns about the practice. Many countries have banned the practice, making it illegal as Shark populations are decimated annually due to Shark finning! Shark fins fetch a huge financial reward on the black market. The industry is up there with illegal drugs as far as profits and ethics go. The fins are being sold to appease the Asian market demand for Shark Fin soup.
Sharks are a top predator in the oceans food chain, little is known about the affects that shark finning will have on this delicate eco-system.
Despite the damage to the global marine ecosystem, Indonesia has no rules on shark fishing
The lowly reef shark, it seems, is not a very dangerous beast despite its menacing appearance. It grows to be anywhere from 5 to 10 feet in length, constantly hunting squid and shellfish as well as almost any other type of fish haunting tropical reefs.
They are also extremely easy to catch, sometimes swimming curiously up to divers and fishermen. As a result, they have been easy prey for those seeking to provide China with its gigantic and growing hunger for sharks’ fins as the country grows richer and sharks’ fin soup becomes a de rigueur dish at a growing number of banquets, according to Riyanni Djangkaru, the Jakarta-based editor of Divemag Indonesia, in an interview. And 15 percent of the world’s catch of sharks, Djangkaru says – more by far than from any other nation – come from around the 17,500 islands, most of them with teeming reefs, that make up Indonesia. Few other nations, she said, supply anything more than 1 percent of the catch.
“Indonesian sharks are mostly reef sharks, they are not aggressive,” Djangkaru said. “That is why Indonesia has the biggest shark-fin production in the world.” She swims with the animals regularly, she said. They play an important role at the top of the reef food chain pyramid, removing sick and weakened fish from the habitat, playing a vital part in the ecological balance of the reef. The world Wildlife Fund has called reef sharks one of the world’s most important species.
News Source: Asia Sentinel