Shark finning. It is a practice that kills between 88 million and 100 million sharks per year. At this rate, many species of sharks are under a serious threat of becoming endangered or extinct. Due to their status of apex predator, they are at the top of the food chain and extremely important for sustaining a healthy, balanced ecosystem.
The way shark finning is carried out is extremely inhumane. These sharks are caught, pulled onto boats, have their fins cut, and then are released back into the ocean without a chance to live. The rest of their bodies are rarely utilized, making this an extremely wasteful process as well as unethical. You'd think these shark fins must have some sort of magical nutritional value for shark finners to stoop to this level to get them, right? Wrong. They lack any significant nutritional or medicinal value. In fact, if you think about it, it makes sense that they wouldn't be healthy for us to eat at all. Apex predators. This means that they are one of the last in line to eat in the food chain. As us ocean enthusiasts and plastic-free-for-the-sea advocates know, toxins travel up the food chain through bioaccumulation and biomagnification, making sharks one of the most toxic of the animals we could eat. Healthy? Probably not. Flavorful? The broth is the only part of shark fin soup that gives it the flavor, the fins just act as a form of texture. So, now that we know why shark finning is so wrong and pointless, lets find a way to eliminate it before it's too late.
Oceana has formed a petition to Congress to ban the trading of shark fins in the U.S. Despite the United State's decision to make shark finning illegal in American waters, trade is still free game at the moment. Signing The Shark Trade Elimination Act of 2016 is the next step toward a healthier, more sustainable ocean and protecting sharks, which play a vital role in these efforts.
Click this link and sign the petition to urge Congress to push this bill forward.