Shark Week on Discovery Channel begins
Shark Week on the Discovery Channel starts this coming Sunday, delivering an ocean of information on this fascinating marine creature. Shark conservation will be a part of Shark Week's line-up, and we are particularly concerned about tuning in to learn more about raising awareness of the cruel and rampant practice of finning.Shark Week on the Discovery Channel starts this coming Sunday, delivering an ocean of information on this fascinating marine creature. Shark conservation will be a part of Shark Week's line-up, and we are particularly concerned about tuning in to learn more about raising awareness of the cruel and rampant practice of finning.
The shark population is on the decline due to finning
Finning has become such a global problem, with near 100 million sharks killed each year, that not only are some of the over 400 shark species becoming extinct, their demise is creating a dangerous imbalance in the ocean ecosystem. Why are sharks being harvested for their fins?
>>Read: The tragedy of shark fin soup
What's being done to save the sharks?
Even non-vegans will agree that slicing a shark's fins off and then letting the shark float to the bottom of the ocean to bleed to death is inhumane. Because of finning's popularity around the world, there are a number of shark conservation efforts to raise global awareness to eliminate the cruel and irresponsible practice. Chances are, because shark fin soup is such a popular Chinese delicacy, finning will continue on as it has since the Ming Dynasty, but at least anti-finning initiatives can reduce the number of sharks that are being wiped out.
Shark Conservation Projects
According to Discovery.com, here are a few of the shark conservation projects in place to save the sharks.
1. Lobbying lawmakers for shark conservation laws
One example of shark protection laws is the Shark Conservation Act of 2009, which makes removing a shark's fin — even one from a dead shark — or having a shark fin aboard a vessel a crime.
2. Keep stats on shark attacks
Though the movie Jaws depicts sharks are people-eating monsters, the true number of shark attacks shows that humans are more a danger to sharks than they to us. The University of Florida's Museum of Natural History (FMNH) houses and helps to compile the Shark Attack Files.
3. Make noise in the water
Shark conservationists do great work on land, and some are taking to the water to continue their mission. Shark lovers are going underwater to free sharks trapped in nets and plan to continue harrassing poachers.
4. Expose the finners
Some conservation efforts, like that of Oceana, are targeting countries with the largest record of finning -- some of which are the countries with the strictest laws against finning. Spain tops the list by exporting a whopping 2.6 million kilograms (5.7 million pounds) of shark fins in 2008. The United States ranks seventh, exporting an estimated 251,000 kilograms (553,000 pounds) of shark fins each year. Shark conservationists are using the stats to force the hands of lawmakers in these countries for stricter laws and enforcement.
Tune in to Shark Week on Discovery this week for more information.
More vegan news you can use!