“Shark finning refers to the removal and retention of the shark fins and the discard at sea of the carcass. The shark is most often still alive when it is tossed back into the water. Unable to swim, the shark slowly sinks toward the bottom where it is eaten alive by other fish.” (http://www.sharkwater.com/index.php/shark-education/ ) or starve to death. Many don’t bother taking the meat from a shark other than its fins due to its price it can be bought for.
Fins make a lot more money. Over past years the demand for shark fins have increased dramatically. They are used for shark fin soup, which is a showing of wealth in the Chinese culture, and traditional cures and with the advancement we have made in technology for catching them, it can be easy. Many fisherman just bring the shark fins to shore instead of the entire shark because fins are worth a lot more money than the rest of the body. A pound of fin can be sold for as much as $500. Approximately, 100 million sharks are killed each year. With their slow reproduction rates, this puts their population at a high risk.
Today some shark populations have decreased by 60-70%. Losing sharks can not only affect the population but can affect what happens to the ocean. Sharks indirectly maintain the seagrass and coral reef habitats and the loss of sharks have has led to a decline in both those and the loss of commercial fisheries. Without coral reefs and sharks there is a huge decrease to the herbivores due to the increase of those who feed on them.Finally people are starting to realize what we are doing to these sharks are not right. Since 1994, 22 countries have placed regulations in their area on shark finning.
According to the 2010 Shark Conservation Act, all the sharks caught in the United States must be brought to shore with all their fins still attached. To decrease the cultural value of fins in China, Chinese government began prohibiting the serving of shark fin soup at banquets in 2012. But since then, a survey claims that only 6% of luxury hotels in the cities of Beijing, Shenzhen, and Fuzhou have stopped serving the dish. Again said in the paragraph above, if shark finning isn’t outlawed worldwide we will see a massive negative change of our ocean economy and food web.Over time we have seen an decrease of people who support shark finning. We went from it not being illegal anywhere to now only a few countries, like Norway and Iceland, where it is still legal to kill sharks for their fins.
I believe in the next new decades we will rarely kill sharks for their fins and realize they aren’t as harmful to us as we are to them and that their money isn’t worth ruining our ocean ecosystem and food chain.