Persuasive Essay On Shark Finning

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When most people hear the word "shark", the image of a vicious killing machine pops into their head. They picture something out of the movie Jaws, where a massive Great White shark terrorizes an entire beach and eats dozens of people. However, this fictional story is nothing more than Hollywood entertainment. In the real world, the tables are turned. Humans are the ones who kill sharks, and not just by the dozens. It has been estimated that over 100 million sharks are killed every year by humans (http://www.iflscience.com). Some estimates claim that the actual number of sharks killed every year could be as high as 273 million (http://www.iflscience.com). In this research paper, I will inform you of the many ways that sharks are being killed,…show more content…
On the contrary, this belief is completely false. A shark 's fin is composed of cartilage. This is the same cartilage that can be found in humans, and it has no medicinal benefits whatsoever. The fact that the shark 's fin lacks any real use in medicine only amplifies the disgrace that the practice of shark finning is.
So if shark finning is such a horrible practice, then why does it still continue? The reason is quite simple: money. It 's mind boggling to see what people will do for a simple piece of paper, and shark finning is no exception. It is estimated that the fins of a shark can sell for up to $500 per pound! With these kind of profit margins, it 's no wonder that restaurants in China still sell shark fin soup.
In 2012, a survey revealed that only six percent of luxury hotels in China have ceased serving shark fin soup (http://ocean.si.edu/). The worst part about the distressing fact is that this survey was given after these hotels were informed of the inevitable problems that come with over-fishing sharks. Despite conservationists best efforts, it appears as though the culture of consuming shark fin soup is branded too deeply into China 's history for it to give up shark fin soup
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Jacks and snappers feed primarily and smaller, herbivorous fish. These herbivorous fish, such as the parrot fish, feed on the algae that is constantly growing around these coral reefs. The algae needs shallow water and sunlight in order to survive, and a coral reef is the perfect place.
Without sharks to keep the jack and snapper populations in check, their populations flourish. When the jack and snapper populations flourish, they eat too many of the herbivorous fish. With too few herbivorous fish, algae soon overtakes the coral; out-competing it until very little, if any, remains. This is why eliminating sharks from the food chain would have devastating effects on the surrounding environment, as well as the ocean as a whole.
This problem doesn 't only apply to coral reefs, however. It has actually been observed on the east coast of the United States. This hits quite close to home for those of us living in eastern North Carolina. In this particular case of reduced shark populations, it isn 't coral that suffers, but commercially valuable shellfish populations

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