Shark Extinction Possible Simply From Too Much Soup

WildAid PSA with Olympian Amanda Beard.

In China, it's shark fin soup, in Japan it's blue fin tuna for sashimi and sushi, and in the U.S. it's our love of nice thick fish fillets and billions of fish sticks consumed annually - these cultural habits are decimating ocean stocks. An amazing 70 percent of the sharks killed each year are brutally dismembered and thrown into the oceans to slowly die simply for the sale of their fins for soup. The oceans can't cope. Unless we come up with sustainable fish consumption patterns, letting species rest that need to, and moving to forms of fish that have healthily managed stocks, nothing but dismal fish stocks collapsing awaits us. WildAid is hoping the slogan, "When the Buying Stops, the Killing Can Too" will galvanize us as consumers. See WildAid's director tell his seafood story and great PSA's with Yao Ming and Tara Kirk after the jump.
Peter Knight, executive director of WildAid on what (and what not) to eat from the seafood counter.
WildAid is currently focusing on two key areas, Central and South America, as major sources of shark fin, in addition to the ongoing consumer-side awareness and demand reduction campaigns for shark fin. In just a few decades, the demand for shark fin has become so great that WildAid classifies shark stocks as "dangerously overfished," and one third of shark species are thought to be danger of extinction according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

NBA athlete Yao Ming in a WildAid PSA.

WildAid is working of international laws to protect sharks and to encourage the view that sharks are more economically valuable to governments as a tourist attraction than as a source of meat or fins.

One of WildAid's PSA's featuring Tara Kirk.

This week I'm in the Galapagos on an adventure to get a view of why the oceans are worth saving and come up with some crowd source solutions for what to do.

In the meantime, want help deciding on what seafood to eat? Check out Monterey
Bay Aquarium's super useful fish cards and iPhone and other smart phone apps.

Interested in sharks? Amazing book called "The Devil's Teeth" by Susan Casey.

Your can read more about Mission Blue and the trip and the TED oceans project.

Or find more at TreeHugger:
Our Oceans Are Un-Owned, Un-Explored, Un-Protected
TED 2010: Sylvia Earle Gets Her Wish: Mission Blue Launches to Create Marine Reserves
PSA Shows Life in a Sea of Plastics

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