On December 4th Wildlife Conservation Day is observed across the globe. This year, Ocean Helper has chosen to shine a light on the Shark finning trade that kills millions of sharks each year.
What is Wildlife Conservation Day?
The aim of World Wildlife Conservation Day is to raise awareness about the negative impact that poaching and trafficking endangered species has on our environment and ecosystem. Educating consumers to reduce the demand for products derived from endangered species and demonstrating efforts by individuals, business and governments to bring an end to the illicit wildlife trade.
The World Wildlife Fund have set up a pledge this year:
What is Shark Finning?
In a nutshell, shark finning is the removal of the fins of a shark and then discarding its body, often still alive, at sea. Unfortunately the sharks do not die peacefully, as they are unable to swim properly and suffering from heavy blood loss.
What are the Negative Impacts of Shark Finning?
Shark populations are in decline around the world due to the a rise in the demand for shark-fin soup over the last few decades.
Ecologically, as sharks are the top predators in the ocean, their disappearance is disrupting the entire ocean ecosystems and will continue to do so with the continued decline.
Economically, they are worth more alive than dead – in contrast to the short-lived profits of shark finning, shark diving has become a sustainable, multi-million pound business.
What can be done?
The big way that we can reduce the damage done to these amazing creatures is by reducing the demand for shark fins and changing our attitudes. There are encouraging signs that shark-fin soup consumption is in decline with a big step coming in 2012 when the Chinese Government banned it at official functions, though the motive behind this may not have been purely conservational.
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