Problem: Over 100 million of sharks are killed every year across the world’s oceans. Hate, fear, and the ravenous market for shark fins have allowed this to continue until today and into the future. Already, certain species of shark have been depleted by up to 90%. It is not only the sharks that suffer, but also every living animal in the ocean from lobsters to dolphins.
Long Lining: This is one of the many indiscriminate fishing methods, which threatens to destroy marine ecosystems. Long Lines consist of monofilament lines that can stretch from 1 – 62 miles in length. Throughout this, additional baited lines with hooks are attached to catch whatever happens to pass by. This includes albatross, sea turtles, and sharks. Sea Shepherd Conservation Society cites the use of long lines as the most significant threat to shark species, targeted for their fins. Long lining is illegal within many countries waters, yet still is legal in international waters.
Shark Finning: The process of shark finning is one of the most barbaric fishing practices around today. Sharks are caught, usually by long line, then, dragged onto a boat to have their fins sliced off. They are then thrown overboard like trash to be eaten alive by other fish as they sink to the bottom of the ocean, unable to move except for the useless twitching of their finless body. Nothing alive deserves this treatment!
Other Shark Products: Although the greatest demand is for their fins. There is also a market for other shark products such as the teeth and jaws sold in tourist stores and useless “medicinal” substances.
Shark Nets: In areas such as Australia, Africa, and Europe, shark nets are used to keep the public “safe” from sharks. However, these nets are infinitely more destructive than they are beneficial. The shark nets kill not only sharks, but also dolphins, turtles, and other fish indiscriminately.
What is being done: Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is one of the leaders in action related conservation efforts for sharks. Sea Shepherd confiscates lines, when found, and frees animals that have fallen victim to the deadly baited hooks. SSCS also, works with the Ecuadorian government to crack down on trafficking of fins and protect sharks in the Galapogos.
- Donate to Sea Shepherds work to save sharks
- Do not buy shark products: this includes jaws and teeth at tourist stores
- Do not support restaurants, which sell shark fin soup
- Talk to others about why sharks need our help and what they can do to help
- Watch and tell others to watch “Sharkwater” for an even better understanding on the dangers sharks face.