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

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credit: Oceana/Carlos Suarez

This guest post is by Andy Sharpless, CEO of Oceana, the largest organization solely dedicated to protecting the world’s oceans. Since 2001, Oceana has protected over 1.2 million square miles of ocean and innumerable sea turtles, sharks, dolphins and other sea creatures. Oceana has been instrumental behind passing legislation to end shark finning in the U.S. and Chile.

Be Warned: This Slideshow Contains Some Graphic Images

Shark conservation has made great strides in the past year, with the U.S. Shark Conservation Act, and a new California law that prohibits the selling, distribution and possession of shark fins (it joined similar legislation in Oregon, Washington and Hawaii). Oceana was at the forefront ensuring that these laws got passed, but we know that the high demand for shark fins is a global problem and it’s far from being solved.

This collection of photos shows the entire spectrum: from sharks swimming peacefully in their natural environments (where they belong) to being mutilated solely for their fins. We show the resulting preparation and global trade of those fins and explain what we can all do to help. It’s a cruel reality, but it’s one that can’t go unnoticed.

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