I’m going to take the opportunity to do a few blog posts about a subject I am hugely passionate about. How animals are being made endangered in cruel ways so that they can be used to feed the rich.
This post I’m concentrating on shark finning. I know that for many sharks are not their favourite animals, they are definitely not mine as I’m scared silly of them! However no animal on the planet should ever be subjected to the cruelty of finning; brutally butchered and left to drown on the ocean floor.
Shark finning involves the removal of the sharks fin from their bodies then the disposal of the body, often still alive into the ocean to make more room for the fins of more butchered sharks. The shark then dies either through suffocation or predation because it can no longer move normally. This awful practice is the main contributing factor for almost 40 species of sharks and rays being listed as threatened species and a drop in shark species by 80%. The implications of the disappearing sharks a huge, affecting full ecosystems.
Shark fins are used to make the Chinese delicacy shark-fin soup and other traditional cures. The demand has increased over the past decade due to improved fishing technologies and market economics; shark fins can be sold for much more than shark meat. The estimated global value of the shark fin trade is US 1.2 billion dollars and this is because a bowl of shark fin soup can sell for around 70-150 dollars. This means that essentially one of the most beautiful and mysterious animals on the planet is being sacrificed so that rich fatcats can show their wealth by eating shark-fin soup.
Because sharks are at the top of the food chain and have few predators they grow and reproduce slowly, this means at the rate we are going within 10-20 years they will be wiped out. So what happens if sharks become extinct?? The removal of sharks from the ocean enables fish and other mammals they prey on to become plentiful and ruin the oceans food chain.
The extinction of sharks not only affects the ocean but it could cause major trouble for us land dwellers. The largest producer of oxygen in the world is the phytoplankton that float around in the sea… being eaten by many different fish and sea creatures. If these sea creatures are no longer being predated by sharks they will grow in population and their demand for phytoplankton will increase. The end result being less oxygen for YOU.