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Why We Need to Stop Killing Sharks

*Contains Foul Language*

Sharks are boss ass creatures. Despite being just necks with teeth and fins, they are pretty much the only reason we as humans are still alive. Let me explain. Sharks are the top of the ocean's food chain. Nothing in the ocean looked at a shark and said, "You and me fucker, let's go." They don't sleep and most types never stop swimming. So ya, they're menacing as fuck. And I'm sure that's why humans decided that they needed to die.

Most people who watched Jaws simply became forever traumatized of the ocean like any other sane person would. However, Jaws actually sparked a culling of sharks out of fear which is just no bueno. But the largest culling of sharks is actually for the shark fin trade. If you aren't already familiar with shark finning, let me enlighten you on the atrocities that are being committed. To put it nicely, sharks are being caught with big fucking metal hooks and yanked out of the water. Then their fins are slashed off and the live bodies are tossed back in the water to sink to the bottom where they will slowly suffocate. Their fins are then dried and sold for shark fin soup. There are so many things wrong with this I don't even know where to start.

Firstly, it's totally inhumane to do this. Imagine if there were a million traps placed throughout the forests of the world and deer were being caught, had their legs cut off and left to die. The world would be up in arms. But when it's sharks, it's okay because they kill people. Folks, educate yourselves. Sharks kill roughly 5 people a year. We kill 10,000 sharks every hour. Every hour! 100,000,000 a year. Most people who die from shark attacks actually bleed out. They're not eaten. Because sharks don't like us, we're gross. We are far too salty for their tastes. They'll typically bite thinking we're seals and spit us out when they figure out we're not. This is no justification for slaughtering them all.

Secondly, shark fin soup is stupid. I get that it's a cultural thing in China but it's still not okay. The dog eating festival is a cultural thing in China yet people won't stand to let that happen. It's not like there's any nutritional benefit to it. Some people think it will cure cancer because sharks don't get cancer. Well, guess what, they absolutely do get cancer. Especially skin cancer because sharks don't have sunscreen and we wrecked the ozone layer. The fins are broken down into fibers which are used in the soup. They're flavourless and have a noodle texture. Here's a thought, just use noodles. The actual soup is flavored with chicken broth! That's right, they're really just making extremely expensive chicken noodle soup. Not to mention shark actually contains pretty high levels of mercury. If anyone has seen The Cove, you'll remember how they talked about the level of mercury in dolphins. Well, that applies to sharks too. You're just poisoning yourself for up to $90 a bowl. It's stupid.

Lastly, because sharks are the apex predators of the ocean, taking them away fucks everything up. When shark populations decrease, their prey's numbers increase. That means that their prey's numbers decrease and so on and so forth. This is already happening. Shark populations overall are down by about 90% since the 70s with some species being down as much as 99%. In places where shark populations have all but disappeared, there's been a massive increase in the occurrence of CO2 producing algae due to the imbalance in the food chain. That's right, killing sharks = global warming. Wake up, people!

I don't see how we can stand to let this happen. A lot of it is political. There is no ban on shark finning in international waters because you would need China and Russia to agree, which they won't. Many individual countries have put bans on finning in their waters but hey, you can't monitor the whole ocean. So that means illegal shark finning vessels are constantly fishing in protected areas. The world needs to band together a little more and put an end to it. Personally, I think that the sale of shark fins should be illegal. Drown out the market but I'm not a politician. What I can do is educate people about the horrors of shark finning and why it needs to stop. So if you think that this is a horrible, tragic, appalling, deplorable thing they're doing, then don't shut up about it. Blab about it to everyone you know. I want the knowledge of this to spread like an STI in a retirement home. Let's put some pressure on politicians and save the sharks before they're all gone.

If you want to learn more about shark finning, check out the documentary Sharkwater. It's very good and very powerful.

Look at all those fins!

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