Exclusive: The Cruel Reality of the Global Shark Fin Trade, in Pictures

Science / Endangered Species
January 17, 2012

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Here, Oceana supporter January Jones swims with a whale shark in Belize’s Gladden Spit marine reserve to raise awareness for shark conservation around the world.

Efforts like these are helping, there’s no doubt. In addition to the recent policy protections in the U.S., Toronto passed a ban on the sale and use of shark fins in October. Chile banned shark finning in July and Taiwan has announced their intention of banning the practice by next year. This is all great news.

But as we’ve seen through this slideshow, the demand for shark fins is very much alive all around the world, and the cruel and wasteful practice of shark finning persists. These photos barely scratch the surface. In October, for example, it was reported that up to 2,000 sharks were illegally finned by Costa Rican trawlers in the Malpelo wildlife sanctuary, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Divers found the sharks dead on the ocean floor, finless.

Oceana promises to continue the fight to protect these creatures, but we need all the help we can get. Go to www.oceana.org and sign up to be a wavemaker. Remember, we shouldn’t be scared of sharks. We should be scared for them.

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