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Make Sure Sharks Don’t Have A Fin-ale

Courtest of: bbc.co.uk

The first thing that comes into mind when I think of sharks is a silly camp song called Baby Shark. It is a hilarious attempt to try to explain an animal’s life cycle to kids of all ages. Some people might also think about the movie Jaws, a trip to their local aquarium or even Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story (for all of the musical theatre buffs out there). But the shark population is also steadily declining.

Even though there are over 1,100 species of sharks in the open water, their numbers are sharply declining as they become one of the world’s most vulnerable animals. Sharks take a long time to conceive children as sharks grow slowly and produce few offspring. Overfishing also diminishes shark populations, but it’s what humans are specifically fishing for that is really reducing the amount of sharks in the ocean: shark fins.

Shark fins are mainly used for shark fin soup, an extremely popular delicacy in Asian cultures. The Wildlife Conservation Society says that the fins are what drive global shark fisheries. The fisheries produce shark solely for the fins and to make a profit—up to $100 per bowl of Shark Fin Soup. Because of the shark fin trade, the WCS believe that anywhere from 26 to 73 million sharks are killed per year.

States such as Hawaii, California and New York are pursuing legislation to prevent shark fin trade. They are also working animals’ rights organizations to promote the vulnerability of the cartilaged marine animal.

Sharks are definitely a unique species with a lot of traits that are well-known to the general public. Because they are always in the limelight, the public should do what it feels is right and let the species become larger by not buying shark fins and eating them. Quoting Bruce the Shark from Disney and Pixar’s Finding Nemo, “Fish are friends, not food.”

by Scott Sincoff

Monday, June 25th, 2012 at 16:52
  • Jun 26th, 2012 at 06:43 | #1

    Vulnerable animals? I doubt that! Tell it to my one-handed Australian friend who now has a panic fear of ocean and swims only in a pool. I feel no pity to sharks and their possible soup destiny. Also I have no anger towards them. They’re just animals, like bears or lions, one shouldn’t get close to.

  • florence
    Jun 26th, 2012 at 15:04 | #2

    @Body
    SAVE SHARKS NOW!!! As for you Body, or whatever your real name is, Your 1 handed friend in australia being bitten by a shark is horrible, but compared to what that shark could have done i think shows they ARENT trying to kill! Furthermore EDUCATE yourself! When sharks disappear(and they will because of ignorance, much like youve shown)there will be NO sharks to keep the natural balance in the ocean! Much like the jellyfish population explosion we are seeing around the world! Sharks eat jellyfish, and the decline in sharks have caused alarming population explosions of many species! With out shark in another 5 to 10 years your friend wont be the only one who cant go in the ocean!!!

  • Karen turner
    Jun 26th, 2012 at 16:44 | #3

    Well said Florence! Couldnt have put it better myself! :)

  • Jun 27th, 2012 at 04:59 | #4

    @florence
    Hm.. I’m not ignorant! I didn’t say I want to kill them all. Ignorant are those who hunt them and eat them.. I just said I feel no pity.. They are predators themselves and they eat people, if they have a chance. I feel pity for apes, birds, cats and dogs..
    My point is, I ask you to understand me, that all creatures should live in peace. And we should keep the harmony of the nature. If one single animal is in the Red Book, we should help it to survive and adopt to life.
    I guess I’m clear enough. A situation for you) You’re on a boat in the ocean and you fell off the board by chance. You’re in the water and you see the shark’s fin over the water. You can’t get to the boat faster than it can attack you. What would you do? I wonder..

  • florence
    Jun 29th, 2012 at 13:16 | #5

    @Body
    @body
    I suppose if i couldnt get to the boat on time i’d be lunch lol but having said that I WOULDNT blame the shark at all! I would be in the sharks territory and when you CHOOSE to be in an animals territory any animal you must respect them and understand what your getting yourself into.Take precautions and so on! I do agree with you @Body that we should keep the harmony of nature, but in nature its common for animals to eat one another the circle of life and all that, I feel that humans are the deadliest most viscious and cruel of all animals! Animals kill and eat out of need for food we do it for thrills! An ocean of sharks cant do anywhere near the harm to us that weve done to them or even to each other! Id be more afraid of a human than a shark anyday!! It was nice talking to you @body, Sharks are in the red book! Lets do all we can to help them survive!!

  • florence
    Jun 29th, 2012 at 13:18 | #6

    @karen Turner
    Thanks so much for the compliment, i get alittle heated when it comes to something i feel passionately about!

  • Ironspider
    Jul 3rd, 2012 at 01:24 | #7

    When I was at school we had to do a talk in the classroom as part of our English studies. It could be on any topic we liked – we were being judged on our presentation skills rather than content. Jaws had just hit the screens and though I hadn’t seen the film I’d read the book. My talk was an attempt to redress the balance and shed a little light on the reality of sharks rather than over-dramatised fiction. I give my classmates plenty of facts and figures and then answered their questions. One girl asked me “If they’re such good predators, why do they attack people?” In reply I posed my own question “Do you have gills? Fins? A body designed for life in the ocean? No? Then why are you in the water?”
    Sharks are a top predator and well designed for their particular environment – should a shark find itself beached in the middle of a shopping centre I doubt it’d survive for long! We have little idea what changes their ultimate disappearance might cause. Perhaps we’d see an explosion of fish populations followed by a rapid decline as those fish then depleted their food. Perhaps nothing would happen. We don’t know and common sense would suggest that if we’re unsure we should avoid that particular scenario. Unfortunately economics almost always trumps intelligence and, as with the rhino, elephant and tiger, I suspect market forces will see shark populations decline below any hope of recovery.

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