Shark Finning: Give ‘Em The Fin!

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Shark Fin give em the finShark Finning is a gruesome practice that threatens the health of our oceans. It is a global issue that affects us all.

Take a moment to send a clear message: Sharkfinning is unacceptable. Pose giving the ‘international sign of the shark’ (if you’re a scuba diver, you’re familiar with the hand signal!) and upload it to SeaSave.Org  the completed mosaic of all of our photos from around the world will appear on billboards in different countries. We need to fill up 20,000 photos in the next 48 hours – so upload yours now from wherever you’re reading this! The most creative photo wins a diving vacation to Grand Cayman. Sharks keep oceans healthy, and humans depend on oceans for oxygen. So if you care about AIR, or you care about sharks, Send a message to those supporting Shark Fin Soup – don’t give ‘em the finger, #GiveEmTheFin !

 “Sharks keep oceans healthy, and humans depend on oceans for oxygen.” 

Even if you think they are scary as f**k, sharks play a really important role on our planet – the sea is our primary source of AIR and FOOD is at risk! Sharks sit on top of the ocean’s food chain where they’ve kept it healthy for over 400,000,000 years! The oceans gives humans across the world 1/3 of our food, and creates more oxygen than all the rainforests combined. Our survival depends on protecting this keystone species from extinction.

I recently started researching the importance of sharks to our own survival, the survival of the underwater eco-system, and the legal and illegal shark fin trade. I am starting to read a lot about what many people argue should be allowed when it comes to shark fishing – the UN has a IPOA-SHARKS (international plan of action for conservation and management of sharks) and it describes regulations like, only fishing for shark species whose populations are not depleting, and using the entire dead shark carcass not just the fin. There are many people in the environmental world (conservationists, scientists, journalists, etc) who hold a view in support this balance of nature and economic gain, while others are calling for the hunting of sharks to end entirely.

shark fin pillsTo be completely transparent, I’m still learning – and deciding where I stand. I do believe it’s important for all countries to get educated and decision-makers to make the right choices about this important (though unpopular) fish. Recently while I was in a Canadian airport I found a bottle of pills made from shark, it was in the “souvenir section” and right next to the Maple Syrup. When I tried to look up the brand online to find an ingredients list, there was very little information about this product or the company. I think that’s “fishy” (sorry, dad joke.) so I started researching comparable products. Some of the dosages instruct buyers to take 12 pills a day until 3 bottles are done – what?! That’s a real instruction? Totally fishy (I know, I’ll stop.) Meanwhile scientists and conservationists are rebutting the health benefits of shark fins, saying that research shows shark fins don’t cure cancer (as some cultures believe) and the advantages that are found in the nutrients can also be found in Advil or biting your nails.

Again – I’m not judging, I have only just started my research and journey into understanding this issue. What I do know is that according to scientific data shark populations are decreasing dramatically. That’s a fact. So we need to do something, we the public need to talk and talk and talk until we get so loud Governments listen.

 “According to scientific data shark populations are decreasing dramatically. That’s a fact.”

And as for my personal journey, I’ve taken a volunteer job with Sea Save Foundation To start doing some investigative writing for their environment & wildlife publications. So I’ll post another blog further along in my journey.

Please leave your comments and thoughts below I’d love to hear them – or tweet at me @AliyaJasmine.

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