Sharks are vital in keeping our oceans healthy. However, sharks are now being pushed towards extinction at a higher rate than ever before. One of the leading factors contributing to their threat of extinction is shark finning.
What is shark finning?
Shark finning is an inhumane practice that must be stopped. The process of finning a shark is when one cuts off all of the shark’s fins and then throws the still living shark back into the water. Since the shark is no longer able to move it will sink to the bottom of the ocean. It will then typically die from either starvation, suffocation (without constant movement their gills will not be able to obtain the oxygen from the water that they need), or the shark will be eaten alive by other fish.
What is the deal with the shark fins one may ask? Well, there has been a sudden increase in demand for shark fins in the Far East. In some Asian cultures, shark fin soup is considered a delicacy and has recently become quite popular. The price of one bowl of shark fin soup can easily cost up to $100. Thus, fisherman will go about anywhere to fin as many sharks as possible just to satisfy the demand. But this senseless killing of sharks for merely their fins is causing a huge issue.
Why are sharks important?
Sharks are at the top of the food chain in the ocean. They are extremely vital in balancing out the ocean’s ecosystem. Sharks prey on the weak and sickly fish and keeps the population of the ocean healthy. Sharks also keep sea grass beds healthy. This is done by the intimation that sharks give off to potential prey. For example, sea turtles graze on sea grass beds. However, with the threat of sharks nearby they will not stick around and overeat the grass beds. But, it has been suggested that if the sea turtles could freely graze on the best and most nutrient sea grass beds the habitats would soon be destroyed. Just imagine what our oceans would look like if there were no longer any sharks to regulate and balance out its ecosystem.
Without a healthy and well-balanced ocean, our life on land will soon drastically change as well. What goes on in the water is just as important as what goes on on land. Imagine: without sharks eliminating the weak prey, we would be the ones consuming the sick and weak fish. Sharks are a vital piece in our world and we must not take them for granted.To help stop shark finning, you can visit this website and sign the petition: http://fin-free.com/petitions/