For 400 million years sharks have flourished in our planet’s oceans and seas; it is only recently, with the help of a bowl of soup, that one of our most admired ocean predators faces annihilation.
Shark finning to supply shark fin soup is threatening sharks around the world. The populations of smooth hammerheads, bull, and dusky sharks along the East coast declined 99 percent from 1970 to 2005.
Facing finning, fishing , habitat destruction, and environmental pollution shark populations are in serious trouble worldwide:
- 75 milliion sharks are killed a year by humans; that’s 8,333 sharks an hour killed by humans.
- All shark species throughout the Mediterranean Sea have declined by 97 percent in the last 200 years.
- Declines in sharks can contribute to a shift from healthy, coral-dominated reefs to barren, algae-dominated reefs.
- U.S. fishing industry exports more than half a million pounds (226,796 kilograms) of shark fins to Hong Kong alone each year.
For all the grief that sharks are given in the media, it turns out that you’re more likely to be killed by a vending machine than by a shark. Sharks have much more reasons to fear humans than the other way around.
- Establishing and enforcing science-based catch limits for sharks and rays
- Ensuring an end to shark finning
- Improving the monitoring of fisheries taking sharks and rays
- Investing in shark and ray research and population assessment
- Minimizing incidental catch of sharks and rays
- Global cooperation to conserve shared populations