Shark finning is the removal of fins from a shark, often when the creature is still alive. Sometimes after the fins are stolen from them, they are thrown back into sea. Sadly, without their fins they will either drown helplessly or be eaten by other predators.
Image from: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shark_finning
Some countries have banned this cruelty, but some require the whole shark brought back before the fins are taken off. Shark finning increased rapidly since the desire for shark fin soup, a “delicacy” in places such as China, has been growing.
Shark fins are the most expensive seafood, most cost around US$600+ per kg. In the United States, where finning is prohibited, some buyers regard the whale and basking shark as a trophy species, and pay $10,000 to $20,000 for a fin.
Shark Finning Facts:
Image from: http://www.wildaid.org
Image from: http://www.wildaid.org/
These are some commonly asked questions related to shark finning.
Is shark finning illegal in the US?
Yes, shark finning is banned in the United States. Although finning itself is illegal some US states have no rules against the trade of shark fins.
What does shark fin soup taste like?
The shark fins themselves are virtually tastless. The taste comes from the soup, while the fins are added for texture.
Is shark fin soup healthy?
While there may be few benefits to shark fins, sharks contains some of the highest levels of mercury and other dangerous toxins found in fish. Since there is so much mercury in the sharks eating to much can cause coordination loss, blindness, and in some cases even death. Mercury has many other effects on the human body if consuming too much. Scientists think that sharks obtain a bunch of mercury in their body because they eat many smaller fish.
What will happen to the oceans if sharks become extinct?
Bigger sharks are apex predators. When you remove apex predators from its ecosystem the result is a total collapse. For example, along the US East Coast larger sharks such as black tip and tiger sharks once thrived, there has been a steady decline in shellfish numbers and water quality. The shellfish help keep salt water clean. With the bigger sharks gone smaller creatures like rays and small sharks devour shellfish at an unsustainable rate, because of their suddenly high population.
Shark fins are for sharks not for soup.
Thank you for reading. Please comment your thoughts on shark finning or comment some questions you may have, we’d love to help find an answer.
^A disturbing image of a shark fin market