Simply put shark finning is catching a shark, cut off its fins and throw it back in the ocean. Mind you the shark is alive when this happens, and it will eventually die because it drowns.
Shark fins are a multi-billion dollar business because there is a high demand for dried shark fins from specific countries where eating shark fin is a symbol of status.
Although it seems the demand for shark fins seems to be declining, the shark population declined dramatically in the last decades. As long as their will be a demand fisherman from all over the world will be tempted to fish for sharks as they bring in top dollar.
But what will happen if shark finning will bring the sharks on the brink of extinction? What will happen to our fragile eco-system if sharks are no longer on the top of the food chain?
Sharks are keepers of a healthy balance in our oceans, if this balance is disturbed chances are a specific species of (prey) fish will grow to populous which can and will cause even more damage to the ecosystem.
What happens when shark finning continues?
Let's assume sharks disappear and therefore another fish can overpopulate the reefs, let's say this fish feeds primarily on juvenile reef fish. Meaning the population of reef fish will decline quite fast which means coral reefs will suffer. When coral reefs suffer they will die, when coral reefs die, fish will migrate or die too.
When that happens, the local fisherman have lost their local food source which will force them to find other ways to feed their families.
Bottom line is we need to stop shark finning, and we need to care more about the health of our oceans! There is no way, we can live our lives without the ocean being healthy. The ocean brings live in so many forms that we take for granted.
Think about it!
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Article written by Rutger Thole who is an avid scuba diver and loves to travel, dive and write about scuba diving. Based in Amsterdam he runs bookyourdive.com and at least twice a year he plans a dive trip of the beaten track.