What is Shark Finning and How it Destroys Our Eco System

A fisherman holds a freshly cut dorsal fin from a scalloped hammerhead shark (Sphyrna lewini). Every year, humans kill an estimated 100 million sharks. Removing sharks in large numbers can have ripple effects that throw entire ecosystems out of balance.
A fisherman holds a freshly cut dorsal fin from a scalloped hammerhead shark (Sphyrna lewini). Every year, humans kill an estimated 100 million sharks. Removing sharks in large numbers can have ripple effects that throw entire ecosystems out of balance.

Shark finning means:  Catching a shark, cut off its fins and throw it back in the ocean.

And by the way:  The shark is alive when this happens, and it will eventually die because it drowns.

Shark fins are a multi-billion dollar business because there is a high demand for dried shark fins from specific countries where eating shark fin is a symbol of status.

Although it seems the demand for shark fins is declining, the shark population declined dramatically in the last decades. As long as there is a demand, fisherman from all over the world will fish for sharks as they bring in top dollar.

You might think- well sharks are a threat to humans anyway. But what will happen if  sharks are on the brink of extinction? what does that mean to our fragile eco-system?

Sharks are keepers of a healthy balance in our oceans. They have to be in the foodchain.  If this balance is disturbed chances are a specific species of (prey) fish will grow too much. And that will cause even more damage to the ecosystem.

What happens when shark finning continues?

Let’s assume sharks disappear and therefore another fish can overpopulate the reefs, let’s say this fish feeds primarily on juvenile reef fish. Meaning the population of reef fish will decline quite fast which means coral reefs will suffer. When coral reefs suffer they will die, when coral reefs die, fish will migrate or die too.

When that happens, the local fisherman have lost their local food source which will force them to find other ways to feed their families.

Bottom line is:  we need to stop shark finning, and we need to care more about the health of our oceans! There is no way, we can live our lives without the ocean being healthy. The ocean brings live in so many forms that we take for granted.

Think about it! 🙂

Shark Finning

This article was originally published HERE:


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Journalist/ Idealist/ OceanLover! Founder of OceanAmp

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