Shark finning, a hazardous activity that has received a lot of attention lately, is cutting off a shark’s fin and tossing the remainder of its body into the ocean. Shark populations throughout the world have been decimated by the demand for shark fins, which is principally driven by the shark fin soup business.
Concerns concerning the preservation of these apex predators and the delicate balance of marine ecosystems have been raised by this contentious and unsustainable practice. In this article, we examine shark conservation initiatives, examine the destructive impacts of shark finning, and emphasize the significance of protecting these crucial animals for the health of our oceans.
Shark finning is a huge industry. The market is said to be worth billions of dollars worldwide, with some fins fetching prices of up to $10000. According to some estimates, some 100 million sharks are killed annually for their fins alone, which has a disastrous impact on shark populations and the ecosystems that they support. Why is the question?
Shark fin soup and several traditional Chinese treatments both contain shark fins. I’m done now! The soup has almost little flavor, and it is quite doubtful whether ingesting a substance that is essentially cartilage and flesh has any therapeutic effects. But for some reason, eating shark fin soup has taken on the status of a cult item, and some people still think that consuming pangolin scales, rhino horn, or any other unusual animal part can enhance their sex life. Whatever the rationale, this behavior must be stopped.
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Each fin is removed when sharks are caught for their fins. This is often done at sea right after the shark has been captured and is still alive. The shark’s body has little economic value, therefore the remaining portions are subsequently thrown back into the water. All sharks, including those on endangered species lists like whale sharks and hammerheads, are fair game for these uncontrolled shark finning organizations and vessels because of the allure of money.
What can you do?
There is great worry over the diminishing shark populations, and several nations are taking steps to stop it. While some nations have outlawed the importation of shark fins, others have prohibited the act of shark finning. Protests and media attention against shark finning are gradually losing support. The Hong Kong-based airline Cathay Pacific has declared that it would not export shark fins. In 2011, Taiwan outlawed shark finning. Great Whites are protected in New Zealand, however, certain other species are still subject to fin-fishing. To protect the future of the seas, an international accord is urgently required.
Cutting off the demand is the only effective approach to end shark finning. Shark finning will continue to take place illegally even in the presence of preventive legislation. By talking to them and informing them that many consumers would avoid their establishments because they had shark fin soup on the menu, we were able to successfully ban several Chinese restaurants from offering it in our neighborhood. Follow suit.
On certain sharks
A sizable coastal shark that lives in coastal seas throughout the world is the sand tiger shark. Due to a sharp drop in its population, it is currently considered a critically endangered species by the IUCN.
Sharks without fins are more likely to perish from a lack of oxygen because they are unable to move to utilize their gills to filter the water or to be eaten by other fish who find them helpless at the ocean’s bottom.
According to studies, 73 million sharks have their fins removed annually, while experts have observed that the actual number may be closer to 100 million. The majority of shark species have sluggish rates of development and low rates of reproduction, and the rate of reproduction cannot keep up with the rate of death at this time.
The number of sharks
According to some research, 26 to 73 million sharks are killed each year for their fins. The yearly median for the years 1996 to 2000 was 38 million, which is far less than many environmentalists’ projections but nearly four times the figure reported by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. According to reports, there were 100 million sharks caught worldwide in 2012.
Sharks have a K-selection life history, which means they typically develop slowly, mature at a bigger size and later age, and reproduce at a low rate. Due to these characteristics, they are particularly susceptible to overfishing techniques like shark finning. According to recent studies, changes in apex predator abundance may have a domino effect on several ecological processes.
Over the past 50 years, the population of some shark species has decreased by as much as 80%. Some groups contend that the loss in some species’ populations is due to shark fishing or bycatch (the unintended capture of animals by other fisheries) and that the market for shark fins has very little influence because bycatch is thought to account for 50% of all sharks caught. Some claim that the primary cause of the reduction is the demand for shark fin soup.
On different populations
Apex predators, sharks have significant effects on several marine processes and systems, notably coral reefs. The significance of these species is further emphasized by a Wild Aid study on the challenges facing sharks worldwide.
Sawfish (Pristidae) fins “are some of the most valuable shark fins” and “are highly favored in Asian markets.”I-23 Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) provides the greatest degree of protection for sawfishes.
Also Read: Cetaceans In Captivity
As a result, shark finning is a brutal and unsustainable activity that has a terrible effect on shark populations as well as the entire marine ecology. We must take action and stop this heinous and harmful behavior. We can make a difference in the battle against shark finning by increasing awareness, supporting conservation groups, and arguing for stronger restrictions.
What makes shark finning so barbaric?
Shark finning is viewed as barbarous since the practice entails cutting off the shark’s fins while it is still alive and then tossing the remainder of the animal’s corpse back into the water. This method is cruel and causes the sharks great misery.
What is the effect of shark finning on shark populations?
Shark populations all across the world are declining as a result of shark finning. Being the top predators in the environment, shark extinction would upset the delicate balance of marine life. The entire food chain may be negatively impacted by this in a cascading fashion.
Is there legislation or rules in place to stop shark finning?
Indeed, several nations have laws in place to prevent shark finning. However, compliance and enforcement can be difficult, and illegal shark finning still happens in some areas. Supporting tougher laws and policies is crucial if we want to stop this behavior in its tracks.
What can I do to prevent the finning of sharks?
You may take several steps to prevent shark finning. You may decide not to eat shark fin products, educate your friends and family about the issue, donate to charities that preserve sharks and their ecosystems, and promote stricter laws and international collaboration to stop shark finning.
What impact does shark finning have on the marine environment?
By eliminating apex predators, shark finning disturbs the marine environment. This might cause an ecosystem to become unbalanced, which would have an impact on the numbers of other marine species and the health of the ocean as a whole. Shark conservation is essential for preserving marine ecosystem function and biodiversity.