There has been a lot in the news recently about shark finning. It’s the inhumane practice of capturing a shark, slicing its fins off (shark fin soup is an expensive delicacy popular at Chinese weddings and Chinese New Year celebrations), and tossing the rest of the animal overboard to bleed out a die.
As noted on the Save Our Seas Foundation website, “Compared to other commercial fisheries, the shark-fin industry is opaque, secretive, and often operates in a legal grey area, exploiting loopholes in anti-finning laws and keeping few records. In addition to this, reporting can be unreliable and misleading, as member countries of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) report shark catches with varying degrees of detail and accuracy”. There is some forward momentum. A ban has been put in place in California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington to end the practice. California will also implement a ban on the importation of fins starting January 1, 2013. Although, as the LA Times writes, it is still an uphill battle in China.
Wildaid, in conjunction with artist Kiki Karpus, created this powerful “What is shark finning?” infographic as a way to understand more on the harmful effects the practice has on the entire ocean ecosystem.