This week on the Discovery Channel it's SHARK WEEK! My favorite week of the year!
For this entire week from 9:00 am to 2:30 am, the Discovery Channel will be airing nothing but shark related programs! Everything from shark bite survivors, the debunking of Jaws, prehistoric sharks and more!
(Although the start for shark week was a little disappointing in my opinion...)
So! Each day of this week I'll be writing a blog post that will also be shark related!
For today, I wanted to touch upon one of the heaviest issues that face sharks today:
Shark finning is when a shark is caught and brought aboard a boat. A fisherman then cuts all the fins off of the shark and then chucks the animal back into the ocean. Since sharks must keep swimming to keep breathing, the animal soon dies from asphyxiation.
Because of overfishing, some fisherman have now turned to shark finning. A sharks fins can sell for $500 a pound. The sharks aren't even being caught for their meat because their flesh holds little value. Only their fins are targeted. This makes shark finning a very wasteful practice as ONLY their fins are being targeted.
Even the gentle whale shark is a target for shark finning.
Many Asian countries are responsible for shark finning, but other tropical countries participate in this act as well. Shark finning is even taking place in the United States of America.
They use the fins for a dish called "Shark Fin Soup" which can cost more than $100 dollars per.
The weird thing is, shark fins don't really have a taste. They only use the fins for their texture in the soup.
The world fish stock is drastically decreasing because of the advancement in human technology and the demand for food because of the increase in human population.
Humans have started fishing up the food chain and disturbing the ecosystem.
Shark finning makes me very sad not only for the sharks but for people as well. It's a wasteful, brutal and nonsensical practice that needs to stop if we want to save the sharks AND ourselves.
To learn more about Shark Finning and to get involved, check out these awesome websites:
Shark Finning Fact Sheet
Project Aware; Sharks In Peril
Shark Angels; What We Do and Get Involved
The Global Shark Conservation Initiative
And here's a lovely peace of soul art: