Save the Sharks By: Athena and emma

WHAT IS SHARK FINNING?

Shark finning is the process of removing shark's fins and discarding the remains of the shark back into the ocean, leaving the shark vulnerable to predators, starvation and suffocation. Their fins are saved to sell in the shark fin market or used for cultural practices, such as Asian Shark Fin soup.

CAUSES

Some of the major uses of shark fins include saving them for sale, using them in cultural dishes and keeping them as a "trophy". Since fins can cost up to $10,000, so many people sell them in the shark fin market to make good money. Surprisingly, 73 million out of the total 100 million fins a year are used to make Asian Shark Fin soup. Also, some people consider certain sharks such as, whale sharks and basking sharks to be superior so they will keep their fins as their prized possession.

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS

Believe it or not, roughly 100 million sharks are killed every year from shark finning. Shark species have low reproductive and growth rates and with their diminishing population they haven't been able to replenish as quickly as they're being depleted. Most hunted species are becoming vulnerable to extinction and all are currently in danger due to shark finning. The Hammerhead, Dusky, Sandbar and Thresher shark species are greatly targeted because their fins sell for a significantly higher value.

SOLUTIONS

Although sharks are already in danger, there are things we can do in the future to help prevent shark extinction. One solution would be to discontinue serving shark fin soup. The soup wouldn’t be able to be made without it’s main ingredient. Another solution would be to ban all shark finning. By doing this you would cut off income sources and therefore shut down production. Another possible solution would be to have a limited number of sharks available for cooking the cultural dish but in doing this you would also have to use the rest of the sharks body as to reduce waste. This would also reduce hunters from hunting and selling the sharks illegally for shark fin soup.

INTERESTING FACTS

Shark fins, as a matter of fact, contain 42 times more mercury than what is safe to consume.

Just one bowl of Asian Shark fin soup can cost up to $100.

Only 2-5% of the shark's body is actually used, while the other 95-98% is wasted.

You are 75 times more likely to be struck by lightening than be in a shark attack.

Considering sharks are at the top of the food chain, their extinction can drastically affect the marine ecosystem.

Credits:

Created with images by merone - "shark under-water animal" • JamesDeMers - "fin water dolphin" • mdid - "Shark Fin Dumplings" • malkusch - "Shark" • osgoodcs0 - "lightening storm night" • Elias Levy - "Great White Shark"

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