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Shark Attack Survivors Fight Finning

Shark Attack Survivors Fight Finning

By Jennifer Mishler, Ecorazzi

Every year, as many as 100 million sharks are killed by humans (the numbers reported range from 73 million to 100 million). As the Florida Museum of Natural History’s study of international shark attacks found, there have only been 2,463 confirmed unprovoked shark attacks on humans worldwide from 1580 to 2011. Of those, 471 were fatal.

The demand for shark fins is a big force behind the hunt for sharks. The fins, usually removed before the sharks are thrown back into the water alive, are used in shark fin soup, a Chinese delicacy. The overfishing of shark populations is leading to the decline of the ocean’s apex predators, and the Pew Environment Group has found that some of the fins are coming from endangered species of sharks.

According to TreeHugger, Pew and Stony Brook University scientists have been joined by shark attack survivors for a study of shark fin samples. The survivors wanted to raise awareness for the increasingly endangered animals. “We were all in the ocean to begin with because we love it. If we can stick up for sharks, that turns a lot of heads. We all wanted to turn something really bad into something with a positive impact, then our suffering wasn’t for nothing,” said Debbie Salamone, who helped to organize the study, and was bitten by a shark ten years ago off the coast of Florida.

Shark fin samples were taken from soup in fourteen cities across the U.S. and studied for DNA analysis. Of the 33 species of sharks identified from the samples, several were labeled “near-threatened, vulnerable to extinction, or endangered.” Liz Karan of Pew says of the findings, “This is further proof that shark fin soup here in the United States, not just in Asia, is contributing to the global decline in sharks.”

“US consumers of shark fin soup cannot be certain of what’s in their soup. They could be eating a species that is in serious trouble,” Demian Chapman, who helped study the found DNA, told AFP. Species included the endangered scalloped hammerhead shark, vulnerable-to-extinction smooth hammerhead, spiny dogfish and school sharks, and near-threatened bull and copper sharks.

Shark fin bans are slowly being established in countries around the world. In the United States, shark fins have been banned in Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, California and Illinois so far. Several states are considering bans, including New York and Maryland.

Image credit: Allan Lee / Flickr

 

Related:
Shark Attack Survivors Save Sharks
Shark Attack Survivors Call On Senate to Ban Shark Hunting
Top 5 Endangered Sharks

Read more: Animal Rights, Nature, Nature & Wildlife, Wildlife, , , ,

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Ecorazzi - Good Gossip. Ecorazzi uses gossip and pop culture to inspire real good throughout the world. From celebrity efforts on environmental, animal welfare and humanitarian issues to spotlighting charitable organizations and healthy living trends - our goal has always been to highlight the work being done to make the world a better place. Get weekly updates from Ecorazzi or find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

74 comments

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2:46AM PDT on Aug 17, 2012

this is a great story, if they want to shave sharks, everyone else should follow suit

8:48AM PDT on Aug 14, 2012

signed, thanks for sharing :)

10:08PM PDT on Aug 13, 2012

Save the sharks! To destroy a species for something as frivolous as soup is insane!

8:31PM PDT on Aug 13, 2012

Mmmmmmm, vegetable bean & lentil soup!!!

2:52PM PDT on Aug 13, 2012

thanks for telling the world

2:14PM PDT on Aug 13, 2012

I have a coworker who is 1st gen CBC (first generation Canadian born Chinese - a friend who holds this title taught it to me). A few other co-workers were teasing him about food he eats that we think is gross. I added shark-fin soup to the list. The others looked questioningly at me as they saw nothing wrong with this concept (as if I have never lectured them on it before). His reaction? "Mmmmm, shark fin soup!" I lost my grip at him, and again his reaction was "What? That is how I was brought up." In response I said that my parents are both racist and homophobic. By his logic that makes it perfectly ok for me to also be racist and homophobic, wouldn't he agree? He was horrified, but he really thought about it, and came back and apologized. A person's heritage does not enable that person to continue a cycle of wrong-doing. If you come from a tradition of something that is unnecessarily harmful to humans or animals, you have an opportunity to overcome that and be something greater all on your own. We all possess the faculties to choose for ourselves what is right and wrong. I made my choice. Have you?

2:14PM PDT on Aug 13, 2012

I have a coworker who is 1st gen CBC (first generation Canadian born Chinese - a friend who holds this title taught it to me). A few other co-workers were teasing him about food he eats that we think is gross. I added shark-fin soup to the list. The others looked questioningly at me as they saw nothing wrong with this concept (as if I have never lectured them on it before). His reaction? "Mmmmm, shark fin soup!" I lost my grip at him, and again his reaction was "What? That is how I was brought up." In response I said that my parents are both racist and homophobic. By his logic that makes it perfectly ok for me to also be racist and homophobic, wouldn't he agree? He was horrified, but he really thought about it, and came back and apologized. A person's heritage does not enable that person to continue a cycle of wrong-doing. If you come from a tradition of something that is unnecessarily harmful to humans or animals, you have an opportunity to overcome that and be something greater all on your own. We all possess the faculties to choose for ourselves what is right and wrong. I made my choice. Have you?

11:42AM PDT on Aug 13, 2012

instead of shark fin soup - SOYLET GREEN IS PEOPLE!!!

9:00AM PDT on Aug 13, 2012

The human race! Yuck! What was god thinking?

7:01AM PDT on Aug 13, 2012

Signed!

Ugh, shark finning is one of the cruelest business out there. And it's only for soup!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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