posting it anyway bc i can woo
I am Isabella, (had more in here but i didnt want to put my personal info u feel me) I’m writing this letter because we were told to write a letter about an issue that we care about. I’ve decided to write about shark finning and overfishing. I chose this topic because I have always been interested in conservation and sharks.
Sharks are often pegged as animals that attack humans and are thought to pose a great threat to humans around the world. But in all actuality, you are sixteen more times likely to be struck by lightning than to be bitten by a shark. Sharks are a vital part of the ocean ecosystem. As a top predator, they play a large part in keeping the ecosystem strong, healthy, and balanced. Up until recently, sharks have proven to be a strong, independent species that has lasted for 400 million years. But in the past century, overfishing and finning have played a large part in decreasing the shark population. Every year, tens of millions of sharks have their fins cut off and are thrown back into the ocean. These sharks are left to die a slow and painful death in the ocean waters. Most finning occurs for the consumption of shark fins in food. In China, shark fin soup is a delicacy that more and more people are eating. This soup normally goes for about a hundred dollars a bowl. Because of this, the illegal market for shark fins has become increasingly more popular. This dish is becoming more common, not only in China, but in Europe and other parts of the world as well. Over 145 countries participate in the shark fin industry. WildAid, an organization committed to reducing the illegal trade of animals through public campaigns, is currently working on gaining international support to stop the finning of sharks. Peter Knights, WildAid’s executive director, said “The shark fin trade has more than doubled in the last 15 year. With the growing middle class in China and growing affluence, there’s a huge new market.” Finning occurs internationally, not just in China and its surrounding areas. This has become and international problem. This threatens the shark population in every single one of the world’s oceans. Sharks take an average of seven to fourteen years to reach maturity, so the population cannot be replenished as fast as they are being killed.
Another issue plaguing the shark population is shark killing competitions. These mostly occur on the coasts of the United States. Fishermen hook, bleed, and suffocate sharks to death for prizes, recognition, and bragging rights. They compete to see who can kill the largest or most sharks. Not only is this practice inhumane, it is illegal. If finning and overfishing continue how they currently are, many species of sharks will go extinct within the next 20 years.
This issue is very important in the sense that it affects the ocean ecosystem as a whole. Many fishermen participate in shark finning because of the monetary reward. In order to prevent this, action needs to be taken from finning occurring in the first place. Penalties, fines, and consequences need to be larger and need to make a bigger impact for these actions. In addition to higher penalties, awareness is needed. If more people knew about the inhumane practice of shark finning and killing, maybe they would be compelled to stop consuming shark fin soup. Another solution is the introduction of shark sanctuaries around the world. These are areas where sharks are protected by strong, enforced laws prohibiting the killing of sharks living in the sanctuary. The sanctuaries could be implemented in areas where finning and overfishing are imminent threats to the shark population, such as Indonesia, China, Spain, Mexico, the US, Japan, and Malaysia.