This morning, CBS News ran a short piece on the plight of our oceans’ sharks which are vanishing. We want to thank them for bringing this problem to TV… What? Plight of the sharks?! You mean those scary monsters of the sea with rows of razor sharp teeth? Why do we need to help them? I mean, don’t they EAT people?
Well, actually … there were only 64 unprovoked shark attacks reported in 2019, and sharks killed only two people. Your chances of dying from a shark attack are only 1 in 3,748,067. You have a much better chance of dying from heart disease (1 in 5), cancer (1 in 7), the common flu (1 in 63), lightning (1 in 79,746), or car accident (1 in 84).
But still … they are scary. So why save them? Because they are an integral part of the food chain in our oceans and if you remove a link in the chain, the whole thing falls apart. And with the ecosystem of the oceans on a downward spiral, so is our food supply from the ocean. Over three billion people worldwide rely on food from the ocean as their source of animal protein. What happens when we have no fish? Mass physical decline and death in our already fragile populations.
Overfishing has caused up to a 90% decline of sharks in some waters. Experts blame the overfishing and decline of the shark population on the idiotic passion for shark fin soup which can fetch hundreds of dollars per bowl in Asia. Expert chefs agree that shark fins have no taste; that the only taste in the soup is from the added chicken, herbs and spices. Shark fins are particularly sought after for traditional Chinese medicine and shark fin soup which is considered a delicacy in Asia. Like other nonsensical cultural crazes and trends, people eat shark fin soup just for the prestige.
So, a hundred million sharks are pulled from our oceans each year, and their fins are cut off them while they are still alive and wiggling. Then, their finless bodies are thrown back in the ocean for them to slowly bleed out. Now, who’s the cruel, inhumane, scary monster here? It’s not the shark!
The U.S. and Australia believe they have successfully enforced laws banning fishing for sharks for their fins. In 12 states, shark fin soup is illegal. But, apparently the ban has done little to stop the endless number of Mom and Pop Asian eateries that still sell it. And, of course all of Asia is still gobbling it down – until we have no more sharks!
Please join us in condemning the catch of sharks and rays, and the sale of shark fins. Sign the petition HERE at Change.org.
Learn more at AELLA.org
(Attention CBS News: Why didn’t you mention “Shark-finning” is at the root of the shark decline?! )
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