Culture evolves, Extinction last forever..

Did you know sharks are on the red list of threatened species? They are fascinating sea creatures and facing fast extinction.

Sharks have been feared hunters ever since people first observed them swimming in the vast ocean. Yet today, sharks are declining rapidly on a global scale because humans have replaced them as the ocean’s top predators. One way that humans hunt sharks is by using a practice called shark fining. This is the process of slicing off a shark’s fin and discarding the rest of the still-living body, often by dumping it back into the ocean.

Culture evolves, Extinction last forever..

Baby Sharks at Discovery Cove.

Sharks have been feared hunters ever since people first observed them swimming in the vast ocean. Yet today, sharks are declining rapidly on a global scale because humans have replaced them as the ocean’s top predators. One way that humans hunt sharks is by using a practice called shark fining. This is the process of slicing off a shark’s fin and discarding the rest of the still-living body, often by dumping it back into the ocean.

A shark needs to swim to breath, passing water and oxygen over their gills, without their fins they lay motionless at the bottom of the sea where it sometimes can take weeks to die. Yes I agree that it should be banned!. Its a cruel practice, endangers the sharks and affects the marine eco-systems., Shark fins are tempting targets for fishermen because they have high monetary and cultural value. They are used in a popular dish called shark fin soup, which its a cruel and expensive status symbol and cultural ignorance. in some Asian cultures. I find that morally wrong. It is not right to slaughter massive numbers of sharks for a bowl of soup that lasts five minutes, Culture evolves. Extinction lasts forever.

Culture evolves, Extinction last forever.

Caught in the vast commercial fishnets a Blue shark has no hope for survival.

Shark fin soup dates to the Ming Dynasty, when it was reserved for emperors as a symbol of status and power over the most dangerous predators. Back when it was quite a physical feat for a fisherman to land a shark, it was the ultimate symbol of yang, or male energy.

It certainly wasn’t prized for its flavor, which is almost nonexistent. Its chief culinary merit is an ethereal, gelatinous texture, achieved through careful drying, precise trimming and a complex preparation method that takes several days. For flavor, cooks often add chicken or ham.

During the Moa Tse Tung’s tenure as leader of the communist party of the People’s Republic of China (1945-1976) the soup was discouraged as an elitist practice. The soup was introduced in the late 80’s during the Chinese economic reforms and the resulting increase in the wealthy population, causing a drastic rise in the shark fining.

As China’s middle class grew in recent decades, the number of people who could afford the delicacy rose sharply. To meet growing demand, the fishing industry found a particularly cruel way to harvest several million fins each year. Fishermen slice the fins off live sharks and throw the crippled animals back into the sea to drown.

While history plays a part in understanding the popularization of sophisticated seafood cuisine, cultural elements solidify their importance in Chinese tradition. “To ordinary people, food is a tantamount to heaven” (Liao 2006). This ancient Chinese saying reflects the importance of how food has influenced Chinese culture over time. The incorporation of food culture into everyday activities also exist, as when walking down a street, a frequent greeting is “have you eaten?,” not “how are you?” Food is not just a considered source of sustenance, but is the sign of good health. The use of food and herbs in medicinal practices dates back to ancient times when, Shennong, the god of agriculture taught people how to grow crops and was also the master of medicine (Junru 2004). The bond between food and medicine is still held today in Chinese culture, as medical treatment and diet are closely linked.

An estimated 73 million sharks are killed each year for their fins, which can sell for more than $2,000 a pound in California. The International Union for Conservation of Nature estimates that the populations of some shark species, such as hammerheads, have been reduced by as much as 90% in recent years.

Sharkwater from Rob Stewart on Vimeo.

The state of California implemented the band as of June 2013, It can seem unfair to ban shark fins in California while chefs and grocers in other states continue sales unfettered. Other states like Hawaii, Washington, Oregon have implemented similar bans, Illinois, Maryland and Delaware, and the Pacific territories Guam, American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands, have also enacted legislation prohibiting the sale of shark fins.  Korean Airlines Co. and Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. have stopped carrying shark fins as cargo. Even the Chinese government has announced that it will phase out fins from official functions within three years, according to the U.S. Humane Society.

This is an important milestone in the global campaign to end shark finning. Yet cultural values are slow to change, even with growing support to ban shark fishing from governments and celebrities. Many restaurants and hotels around the world continue to sell shark fin soup. One 2012 survey found that only six percent of luxury hotels in the Chinese cities of Beijing, Shenzhen, and Fuzhou had stopped serving the dish. To those who feel shark fin soup is a part of their culture, cutting it out of their diets completely is difficult. Some people support increasing regulations on shark finning rather than banning it completely, or using the whole shark so there is less waste and cruelty. Others remain staunchly against this process, making it difficult to resolve this debate. A variety of approaches may be the key to making progress in the future towards protecting sharks.

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