Many species of shark are endangered and their populations are rapidly decreasing. Their greatest threat is the huge demand for shark fins.
If you are interested in saving sharks from becoming extinct, you can join any organization that is against shark finning. You might be wondering why humans do this; shark finning is done to meet the huge demand for shark fin soup, a popular dish in the eastern part of Asia. Shark meat is also used for Chinese medicine. Many wildlife conservation organizations meet at various countries in order to voice their opinions about how to put an end to this heinous crime. As it is, many people already consider the shark as one of the most endangered fish.
The fins of shark can sell for as much as three hundred dollars per pound. Since the meat of the shark does not fetch such a price, the animal is dumped overboard. It is tough to understand why people buy and eat shark fins, since they have no nutritional value that couldn’t be obtained elsewhere. It is estimated that if this cruel task continues, then the day is not far away when sharks will become one of the most endangered animals in the world.
Eighty to one hundred million sharks die every year due to shark finning, since there are few laws in place to stop this practice. Even this figure is not accurate because there is no accurate way of keeping track of the number of sharks killed by this method. Add to this the fact that sharks mature and reproduce slowly, and a few other species are above them on the food chain and attack them, and it becomes easy to understand why few groups bother to keep track of the number of living sharks.
Sharks are extremely valuable, since they help maintain the balance of other life and fish in the ocean. If the number of sharks decreases, then the balance of the food chain of the ocean is in great danger. It is keeping this in mind that we should take immediate action. We can do this by becoming a member of a wildlife conservation group; these groups try to push governments to create laws that will act as deterrents for those who kill rare animals. We must also refuse byproducts of shark finning.
The effects on the ecosystem due to the decrease in the number of shark in the ocean is not that hard to imagine. Ever since the number of shark has declined, the number of some other species of fish that were consumed by shark have been on the rise. These fish are harmful to the ecosystem in large numbers, but their increase cannot be stopped since their main predator, the shark, is nearly extinct.
The only way to put a stop to shark finning is by creating and enforcing strict rules. While in a few countries, some laws are in place, these laws are applicable only in the zone of the ocean that lies under the control of that country. Typically, this is 20 nautical miles from the shore of the country.