Shark Finning: No Way!

Posted on February 22, 2011
Written by: Emily, Sixth Grade Student, Eastshore School

Have you ever heard of shark finning? Shark finning is the practice of catching a shark, slicing off its fins, and throwing it back into the ocean to die a slow and painful death.  All sharks that are finned eventually die because they can no longer eat or swim to move water over their gills. This cruel fishing practice is happening in all oceans of the world in order to supply humans with the fins to make a delicacy called shark fin soup.

However, people must understand that sharks are important to our environment and economy. Without the top-level predators to control other marine animal populations, the ocean food chain would become imbalanced and collapse, eventually affecting us. An example of this is the Cownose Ray population in Chesapeake Bay. Sharks prey on Cownose Rays, and with fewer of these sharks to keep the Cownose Rays’ population in control, they are decimating the scallop population which is one of their favorite foods.  Because Cownose Rays consume so many scallops, the scallop fishery in Chesapeake Bay has been greatly reduced, and millions of dollars have been lost by the scallop fishermen. Examples like this occur numerous times through out the ocean because of the impact overfishing sharks has had on the world’s shark populations.

I_Love_Sharks_Logo-sm.gifSeveral of my Eastshore classmates and I have formed a team to make people aware of this problem, and I’d like to invite you to visit our informative web site www.ilovesharks.org. You can help shark conservation by signing the petition or purchasing an I Love Sharks t-shirt. Use our letter writing lessons to help persuade government officials to ban shark fin products in your state like the state of Hawaii has already done. There are also shark lab activities to engage your knowledge of sharks.

Join us to save sharks before it’s too late. It’s my goal for all humans to love sharks as much as we love dolphins and whales!