May 10 – Fintastic Friday

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I can never go past a good pun, or a good cause! (Oh god that was so cheesy…I’m going to go sit in a corner and cry now.). Fintastic Friday is a day to raise awareness of the sharks plight – tens of millions of sharks are killed every year for their fins. This extremely cruel practise involves hacking off their fin and then often dumping the still alive shark straight back into the ocean, where it either slowly starves to death, is eaten  by other animals or drowns (if shark’s are not constantly moving the shark’s gills do not filter oxygen out of the water properly, and they asphyxiate). The fins are then used in shark fin soup, an asian delicacy.

In recent years the demand for this disgusting delicacy has increased and the affect on shark populations around the world has been horrific. Since 1972 the population of tiger sharks has fallen 97%, blacktip sharks by 93% and bull sharks, smooth hammerheads and dusky shark populations have fallen by 99%. You don’t have to be a genius to work out what the future of sharks looks like if this continues…they won’t have one. And even if you are in the part of the population that got permanently scarred by Jaws into thinking sharks are pure evil…they still matter. Sharks are top predators; they keep stable the populations of other predators and if they are gone there will be nothing to keep the populations of the smaller predators down and they will eat up the ocean, ruining the entire ecosystem. Sharks matter.

Plus, sharks are beautiful creatures. Wipe from your mind for a moment the unfortunate murderous reputation of the shark (which is completely uncalled for by the way, as they rarely kill people…in 2011 they only killed 17 people worldwide. More people die from high school level football and bathtubs.) and look at this image…isn’t that an amazing creature you want to keep on this planet solely because it is so awe-inducing?

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source: http://k3rm1t.blogspot.com.au/

So, what can you do? Most obviously, never buy shark fin soup and avoid dining in places that serve shark fin soup. Be aware: Hilton Hotels, while not serving shark fin soup in European countries, Australia or America still serve it in hotel in China and some other countries in East Asia…it’s unethical, wherever it is sold. This website (http://www.stopsharkfinning.net/boycott.htm ) lists restaurants that sell shark fin soup, so you can actively avoid them. In addition to being consumer aware, you can also aid in making other people aware. You can quickly like the Stop Shark Finning Facebook page and spread the word to your friends. Knowledge is power. You can also sign a pledge here: https://e-activist.com/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=104&ea.campaign.id=18794&ea.tracking.id=website

Give sharks a voice – no more shark finning! Spread the word on Fintastic Friday!

~ Darcie Rae

Info-links:
http://www.stopsharkfinning.net/

http://www.whaletimes.org/FintasticFriday.htm

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