Warnings About Shark Finning-Truth!
Summary of eRumor:
The practice of shark finning involves fisherman cutting off shark fins and dumping their carcasses back into the ocean.
Shark finning is a phenomenon that leads to the deaths of countless sharks each year and threatens ocean ecosystems.
The practice of shark finning involves fisherman catching various shark species, cutting off their dorsal fin, and dumping the carcasses back into the water to die.
One of the driving forces of shark finning has been the historic significance of shark fin soup in China. Chinese empowers once believet hat the dish had healing power and represented the triumph of man over beast, the Smithsonian Ocean Portal reports:
In the past, Chinese Emperors favored the soup as a dish that honored guests because it was thought to have medicinal benefits and represented a victory against powerful sharks. This popularity has not faded with time, and has even expanded with China’s growing population. Today shark fin soup is still prevalent and has become a staple for more than just emperors on special occasions. As a result, fishermen have a large incentive to gather and sell shark fins.
Because shark fins are far more valuable than other parts of the shark, fisherman routinely dump the less valuable shark carcasses back into the ocean to save room on their boats for the more valuable commodity, National Geographic reports:
It will cost countries money to monitor the international trade in shark fins. But keep in mind that fins are a luxury product that fetch exorbitant prices. We saw one set of large great hammerhead fins on sale in Bangkok that was advertised for USD$1,100 per kilogram (about $500 per pound). Shark fin soup was selling for $365 a bowl at a nearby restaurant. There is money in this trade that could and should be redirected towards ensuring compliance with the new international law and promoting sustainability.
Overall, researchers believe that humans kill more than 100 million sharks each year, which endangers the species and threatens to imbalance the ocean’s ecosystems since sharks play an important role in them.
However, there is some good news. A government frugality drive and public awareness campaigns in China had led to a 70 percent decrease in fin soup consumption by 2014, the nonprofit WildAid reports:
Prices of shark fin are falling in China by 50 percent-70 percent and sales have decreased by 82 percent according to a new report released last week by WildAid. “Evidence of Declines in Shark Fin Demand, China” compiles public opinion surveys, surveys of shark find vendors and traders in the markets of Guangzhou, China (the current center of China’s shark fin trade) and surveys of shark fin price data from Indonesian shark fishermen, as well trade statistics and media reports.
The report also found rising public awareness with 85 percent of Chinese consumers surveyed online saying that they had given up shark fin soup within the last three years. Two-thirds of these respondents cited awareness campaigns as a reason for ending their shark fin consumption, while the second and third most popular reason given were that they “want to protect sharks” and that it is “cruel the way they kill sharks” — key messages of WildAid’s ongoing public awareness campaign.
Similar steps have followed in the U.S. Legislation that would ban the trade of shark fins in the country was introduced in June 2016. Even though shark finning is illegal in U.S. waters, shark fins are routinely bought and sold in the country. The bill would make that illegal, nonprofit Ocean reports:
Oceana also released a new report today demonstrating why Congress needs to pass a federal ban on the buying and selling of shark fin products. The demand for shark fins is one of the greatest threats facing shark populations around the world. In fact, fins from as many as 73 million sharks end up in the global market every year.
According to the new report, a nationwide ban on the trade of shark fins would reduce the international fin trade, improve enforcement of the current finning ban, and send a message to other countries that the United States recognizes shark finning as a cruel process that should not be allowed to continue.
“Shark finning is cruel and wasteful and it’s putting some shark species at risk of extinction. The United States rightly decided to ban the trade of ivory and rhino horns—yet we still import shark fins, which can be the result of an equally brutal practice,” said Lora Snyder, campaign director at Oceana. “To protect sharks, we need to end the demand for shark fins. Today, the United States took an important step towards achieving this. We applaud the leadership of the bill’s supporters today in helping to end the shark fin trade in the United States.”