This is as close to an atrocity as it comes my friends.
One of the most common uses for Shark fins is Shark Fin Soup:
Around 100 shark species are deliberately targeted by the fishing industry. Shark fins are highly prized for use in shark fin soup, a high status dish that can sell for £65 a bowl, especially in Asian countries where growing wealth has increased demand. As demand is met, sharks become overfished, fins are harder to come by and the soup is therefore even more of a status symbol.
Conservationists estimate that about 100 million sharks are caught each year, many of them purely for use in shark fin soup. Hong Kong alone imported the fins of more than 28 million sharks in 1999. The sharks are caught, their fins are cut off and they are then thrown back into the sea where they either bleed to death or drown. Using DNA, it is now possible to identify shark species from their fins, a development which may be significant in monitoring the impact of this trade.
(BBC Science and Nature)
“Sharks are the tigers and lions and cheetahs and leopards of the sea. And if we lose them—these top predators—there will be long-term damage,”
“They’re slow reproducing, late to mature, more like mammals than fish in their biology—and we’re completely trashing them.
“There’s virtually no management of shark fisheries around the world. We’re playing with fire,” – Knights, of Wild Aid (from national geographic)
Photograph: Alex Hofford/EPA