The ironic truth:
Ever since the movie, Jaws, people have had an irrational fear of sharks. The ironic truth is that humans are the ones killing off all the sharks. You’re more likely to die from lightning strikes or falling coconuts than sharks. There are only around 60 shark attacks per year, and only around 4 of those attacks are fatal. The shark attacks are usually accidents in which the shark mistakes a surfer for a seal. However, over 104,000,000 sharks are killed by humans every year.
Around 78 million of the 104 million dead sharks are killed only for their fins to be put into shark fin soup. The soup is a popular dish in Asian countries, and falsely believed to have health benefits such as sex life enhancement. Shark finning is the cruel act of cutting off the shark’s fins while it is still alive, then the still living shark is wastefully thrown back into the ocean to die a slow and painful death. Can you imagine the agony of someone chopping off your arms and legs and leaving you to bleed to death just so they can have a make believe better sex life?
The irony of the situation is that due to all the pollution we dump into the ocean, the sharks and other apex predators like dolphins and whales have accumulated a dangerous level of toxins such as mercury (this process called biomagnication is not as bad with fish on the lower food chain so we can still eat those). Eating animals like sharks can cause mercury poisoning, which will not only cause nerve damage and eventual retardation, but also decrease your sexual performance.
Why it matters to you:
Sharks are an important part of our ecosystem. They have been around for 430 million years, and that time, all of the ocean’s life have evolved around sharks. If sharks go extinct, the fragile balance of the ocean will be thrown into chaos. Without sharks to eat fish on the lower food chain, those fish will breed out of control and eat all the plankton that’s needed to produce oxygen.
Unlike some fish that lays thousands of eggs every year, sharks only produce 2-20 pups per year. If we catch them at the same rate as other fish we eat, they will go extinct. What worse is that people don’t even eat the shark itself, just the fins because they believe it will help their sex life.
How you can help:
Shark finning is technically banned in many countries, but there is no real effort to stop the illegal trade of shark fins. However, just by simply spreading awareness about the toxic truth behind shark fin soup, we can help bring down the demand for shark fins which will ultimately break down the illegal trade. If people are educated about the fact that shark fin soup doesn’t actually make them better at sex, and that it can actually poison them, then they will no long want to buy it.
A simple way to spread awareness is to post this picture on your own dA, blog, or website along with the info above. You have my full permission repost this drawing anywhere you want. Also tweet and facebook it to all your friends and family. The more people who knows, the more difference we can make!
You can also help by donating to shark conservation causes at:
SSCS-----Oceana-----Save Our Seas-----Shark Trust
Special thanks to Wildfotog for contacting me and working with me extensively on the issue.