The ocean is home to many creatures and species but we all know it’s essentially home to one of the most feared but also beautiful creatures of all: the shark.
Sharks are world widely loathed or loved but are renowned for their ruthless tearaway image that is commonly crafted at the hands of the media and literature such as ‘Jaws’, However many shark species are being brutally massacred and harvested for their fins which is a worldwide issue that is now finally being addressed and dealt with thanks to the government taking action to try to conserve the shark species.
There are approximately over 360 different species of shark around the world and all play a significant role within the Eco system. Many people do not understand the issue of finning and shark protection because some simply do not know or care much for sharks. However many scientists, researchers and protection teams are trying to get across the message that we need sharks in our ecosystem, and this practice of killing a shark for its fin is no different to killing an elephant for its ivory tusk or a rhino for its horn – it’s still taking an animal’s life in a non-humane way.
Shark meat is something that also impacts the toll and frequency of sharks in the oceans and many are hunted simply because their meat is deemed to be healthy despite the high levels of methylmercury which can affect the nervous system. For these reasons the shark population is rapidly decreasing in today’s society and some species are soon to become extinct. Shark fins are valuable in some markets; they are used most commonly to make shark fin soup a delicacy in Eastern countries which can reap decent profit – to make shark fin soup the capture of a shark is needed followed by cutting off the sharks dorsal fins which make the shark unable to swim then the shark is thrown back into the sea resulting in death from intense bleeding or drowning.
At current the EU finning issue is being questioned intensely because the EU banned finning sharks at sea and discarding of the remains. However there are special permits to which finning is sometimes permitted legally, but now MEP’s have voted to end the loopholes that allow this to carry on – the voting stood at 566 votes in favour of stopping the loopholes, 47 against and 16 abstentions. This new passed vote is a great success for many conservationists and protection groups for sharks and this also means that the numbers of sharks barbarically slaughtered and killed is now going to significantly decrease and hopefully something many countries will follow suit in.