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13, Jul, 2010

Save our Fins Event…this Weekend!

Posted in Community News, Eco News, Latest News by kimmy

Raise Awareness at the Save our Fins Event!

Grab a buddy and join us for a three-legged fin tournament. Help raise awareness about shark finning at the Save our Fins Event.

What: Three-Legged Fin Tournament.
When: 17th July, 5.30pm.
Where: Meet at White Rock, Klong Nin Beach.

Shark finning refers to the re­moval and retention of shark fins and the discard at sea of the carcass. The shark is most of­ten still alive when it is tossed back into the water. Unable to swim, the shark slowly sinks toward the bot­tom where it suffers predation from other fish, starves to death, dies from blood loss or suffocates and drowns, since most sharks need to keep moving to force water through their gills for oxygen. Sharks can take hours or even days to die after being finned.

Fishermen are mainly interested in the fins because shark meat is of low economical value and this conserves room in the hold. Up to 99 per cent of the shark is thrown away, a process as wasteful as slaughtering an elephant for its tusks.

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. In the past, Chinese Emperors ate shark fin soup because it was rare, and difficult to prepare, and conferred prestige. Shark fin soup, which can easily cost $100 a bowl, is still of­ten served at wedding celebrations so that the hosts can impress their guests with their affluence. In fact a set of fins can sell for more than US$700/kg, and a single Whale Shark pectoral fin can sell for up to US$15,000.

Shark fin itself is tasteless, it just provides a gelatinous texture for the soup which is flavoured with chicken or other stock. It has also been shown to contain high levels of mer­cury which is detrimental to our health. Many people, especially the consumers, are unaware of the suffering that fin­ning causes.

Global trade in shark fins is increasing, and the market for shark fin soup is estimated to be growing by 5% per year, placing an unsus­tainable demand on shark populations. Tens of millions of sharks are slaughtered every year to satisfy the demand for shark fin soup (three sharks are killed every second for their fins); at least 8,000 tonnes of shark fins are shipped to restaurants around the world.

Sharks’ life history makes them vulnerable to exploitation. Sharks take between 7 to over 20 years to reach matu­rity, and produce few young over long lifetimes meaning that it takes populations a long time to recover once de­pleted. Fishermen report that sharks are getting smaller because they are not being given time to mature.

Sharks are “apex” predators, eco­logical stablisers, when they are removed from the ocean the entire eco-system suf­fers.




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