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Shark Finning

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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 what must be an agonising death. Some sharks starve to death, others are slowly eaten by other fish, and some drown, because sharks need to keep moving to force water through their gills for oxygen. Shark fins are used as the principal ingredient of shark fin soup, an Asian "delicacy". Demand for shark fin soup has rocketed in recent years due to the increased prosperity of China and other countries in the Far East. Shark fin soup, which can easily cost $100 a bowl, is often served at wedding celebrations so that the hosts can impress their guests with their affluence. Because there is such a high demand for shark fins, traders can make a lot of money from shark fin, but it is the restaurant owners who really "make a killing" in this foul trade.
Fishermen are only interested in the fins because shark meat is of low economical value and takes up too much space in the hold. It also contains urea, which turns to ammonia once the shark has died and contaminates other fish.
Shark fin itself is tasteless; it just provides a gelatinous bulk for the soup which is flavoured with chicken or other stock. Many people, especially the consumers, are unaware of the suffering that finning causes.
To put it bluntly, shark populations have been decimated. Globally, tens of millions of sharks are slaughtered every year to satisfy the demand for shark fin soup; at least 8,000 tonnes of shark fins are shipped to restaurants around the world. Fishermen report that sharks is getting smaller because they are not being given time to mature. Shark populations take a long time to recover as they can take over seven years to reach maturity and they only raise one or two pups a year. Twenty species of...

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