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Shark Finning

  • Date Submitted: 11/07/2011 10:39 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 76.5 
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Shark Finning

Shark finning, a problematic issue occurring in international waters and Asia, has nearly wiped out the shark population. The fins are used to make Shark Fin Soup, a delicacy to the Chinese culture. With the growing population in China, the demand for Shark Fin Soup has reached the top. Even though the fins of these terrifying predators are very high in value, it won’t be long till the fins are gone. Shark finning should be banned world wide not only to save the shark population, but the entire marine ecosystem.

Shark finning is the brutal act of pulling live sharks on deck, cutting their fins off, and tossing the helpless sharks back into the ocean to die. Without their fins, sharks can’t swim. If they can’t swim, the water doesn’t flow through their gills and they drown.

Robin Taylor discusses shark finning in his article, When Predator Becomes Prey. As Taylor pointed out:

Compared with other fish species, the flesh of sharks
is considered as low value and hardly worth the cost
of freezing and transportation. However, the huge
consumer demand for shark fins - largely driven
by Hong Kong and an increasingly affluent Chinese
market - has made sharks among the most valuable
animals in the sea. In Asian markets, fins are sold for
up to AU$500 per kg, and fins from the large whale and
basking sharks can fetch more than $10 000. (14)

Whatever the profit shark fins may bring in, wasting the whole body doesn’t make sense. Throwing the helpless body back into the ocean with no fins makes me wince. The shark will float to its death within minutes. We could at least keep the whole shark and use the rest of the body for food and supplies.

According to Taylor, about 100 million sharks are caught and killed each year. The shark population has...

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