With the controversial Chinese delicacy known as “Shark Fin Soup”, it’s no surprise that more and more endangered sharks have washed up on beaches with their fins removed.
An Australian Greens party has called for a complete prohibition on the trade of shark fins.
Australian MP Cate Faehrmann says the grey nurse shark (pictured) was alive when it was found, but died a short time later.
‘Shark finning’ often involves cutting the fins off the shark’s body and then throwing the shark back into the water for the rest of the sea to feed on.
Obtaining the shark fins is essentially killing the shark species off – especially in Australia where the Grey Nurse Shark is a protected delicacy in its own right. Once the shark fins are removed, the mammal usually dies of suffocation or is eaten by other predators.
Shark finning at sea allows fishing vessels to intensify productivity and obviously increase the number of sharks harvested, seeing as they only have to store and transport the fins and not the actual body of the shark. The fin is the most valuable part of the body.
Shark fin soup is generally frowned upon as a dish in most parts of the world – but this doesn’t stop the trade and with many governments lacking the number of regulators needed, it will continue.
The shark is stereotypically portrayed as a vicious man-eating machine but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
One of the reasons the governments fail to act is often down to the fact that stopping of Shark finning would negatively affect trade and economy.