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)



Hundreds of newly unloaded shark fins drying in the afternoon sun in a quiet street near Kennedy Town docks, Hong Kong. It is difficult to take pictures like this in countries such as South Africa and Costa Rica, where shark fin drying compounds are fortified with walls, barbed wire and security cameras. This is because shark fin traders are wary of theft and negative publicity. However, in Hong Kong, where crime rates are low and attitudes more relaxed towards shark finning, shark fin drying is brazenly done in public. According to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, 74 shark species are listed as at high risk of extinction 

Photograph: Alex Hofford/EPA


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