Stephanie Van Clief
November 13, 2011
A Tasteless Form of Animal Cruelty
Imagine, an Asian fishing boat out at sea. Fishermen are bringing in longlines full with dead bodies of sea creatures like sea turtles, gargantuan fish, and sharks. A thick cloud of blood hangs in the water surrounding the boat. The fishermen carelessly throw back any unwanted sea creatures and collect the powerless sharks for their atrocious fate. The men hack off the sharks fins and dump their vulnerable bodies into the ocean to sink to the bottom and await to get eaten alive by scavenger fish or slowly bleed to death. This merciless act is happening everyday with not much happening to help prevent it.
Shark finning should be banned because these insensitive murders decrease the sharks population drastically. According to Sharkwater, one hundred million sharks are killed annually for their fins. (Rob Stewart,http://www.sharkwater.com/education.htm) Experts on this topic have found that within the next decade, most of the species will be lost. The biggest cause of shark extermination is longlines. Longlines are extremely long fishing lines with bait to attract sharks. The problem with longlining is that other sea creatures become caught in them. Animals like sea turtles, fish and sometimes even dolphins can be caught in these lines and are killed. The shark population is decreasing so rapidly, that their reproduction cannot keep up. Sharks take fifteen years to fully mature and usually have only one or two pups a year along with their gestation periods that can last up to two years. Their diminishing population also affects the oceanic ecosystem. They play a vital role in the marine ecosystem by maintaining the balance of the relationship between predator and prey and they also remove diseased animals. Stated by Wildlife Preservation, “The loss of sharks has led to an explosion in the octopus population, and because octopuses...
Cited: 1 http://www.sharkwater.com/education.htm
5 Shark Finning Prohibition Act., [Washington, D.C. : U.S. G.P.O. : Supt. of Docs., U.S. G.P.O., distributor, 2000]
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