The people at Whale Times and the Shark Research Institute want you to know that sharks are far less man-eaters than they are victims of humans. Did you know that people kill around 100 million sharks every single year? That means more than 11,000 per hour! Many of these sharks are killed just for their fins!
These organizations want to stop finning—the practice of removing a shark's fin and returning the rest of the shark to the ocean, where it usually has a rather slow and painful death of suffocation (unless it is eaten by a predator). Some countries, such as the U.S., have banned finning, but the practice continues and is legal in most cases because it has not been banned worldwide.
One reason that finning continues is because shark fins can be worth a lot of money. Just one bowl of shark-fin soup can sell for as much as $150! And a single fin can be worth up to 20 THOUSAND dollars! Yi-i-ikes!
Why do people want shark fins so much that they would pay this kind of money? Shark fins are a traditional cure in some cultures, and a book called Sharks Don't Get Cancer became a best seller and convinced many people that shark fin can cure or maybe even prevent cancer. However, there is no scientific evidence that shark fin is effective at treating or preventing ANY illness. Also, the idea that sharks don't get cancer is just wrong! Sharks can be afflicted with 42 different sorts of cancers!
In some ecosystems, shark populations have dropped 75% to 90% because of finning. Check out the Fintastic Friday website for ideas of how to help save sharks.
Also on this date: