An Inside Look at Shark Finning Essay

An Inside Look at Shark Finning Essay

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Every summer, when parents take off work and kids are out of school, families plan a summer vacation. 42% of those vacations take place on sandy beaches underneath the summer sun. Americans splash in the waves, sip refreshing drinks under their oversized umbrellas, build sandcastles, and revel in a beach tan that will hopefully last them all summer. While eating seafood and enjoying the beach can be viewed as the ultimate summer vacation, humans impact our oceans more than we think, and it’s much more catastrophic than spending our summer vacations at our favorite beaches.
There are currently over 440 species of sharks in our Earth’s oceans, but despite roaming our ocean’s waters for millions of years, sharks are constantly at risk of extinction. It is estimated that one hundred million sharks are killed by humans each year. To put it into perspective, that’s 11,417 sharks killed every hour. Meanwhile, only 12 humans were killed worldwide by sharks in 2011. The culprit behind the extremely high rate of shark deaths is the practice of shark finning. “Shark finning is the practice of slicing off the shark’s fins while the shark is still alive and throwing the rest of its body back into the ocean where it can take days to die, which must be an agonizing death.” The shark fins are used in an Asian delicacy known as “shark fin soup.” In many Asian countries, it is a sign of wealth and prosperity and is often served and banquets and weddings to impress the guests. Just one bowl of shark fin soup can cost up to $100. Because of the high demand for shark fin soup, fishermen and middlemen alike have been finning sharks any chance they get. Although the shark fins are used in shark fin soup, they are also sold frozen, canned or dried. The...


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...cean Bycatch Campaign. N.p., 31 Oct. 2002. Web. 10 May 2014.
"Mercury Contamination in Fish : Mercury and Its Effects." NRDC. Natural Resource Defense Council, n.d. Web. 8 May 2014.
Mosbergen, Dominique. "How Many Sharks Are Killed Per Hour? This Graphic Will Shock You (INFOGRAPHIC)." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 27 Mar. 2013. Web. 14 Apr. 2014.
Orchant, Rebecca. "Threatened Species Used In Shark Fin Soup Across U.S." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 10 Aug. 2012. Web. 14 Apr. 2014.
"Sea Shepherd Conservation Society." Sea Shepherd. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2014. .
"Stop Killing Our Sharks!" Shark Angels. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2014. .
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