Letter sent to Patch from 13-year-old Madison Geramoni of Dublin, who is passionate about the subject of "shark finning."
Sharks are a huge part of our ecosystem, but in a decade, they may not be anymore. These poor creatures are being tortured and killed everyday for their precious fins. Shark fin soup has been around since the Ming Dynasty because it is considered a delicacy. We need to stop this before its too late and the sharks are gone forever. If we do nothing about this, our ecosystem will fall apart and the marine world will never be the same.
Shark finning goes on all over the world, but mostly in China. These fisherman cut off fins of innocent sharks and throw them back into the ocean with nothing to do but bleed to death. Any shark is taken-regardless of its age, size, or species, therefore all sharks are in danger. Shark fins are very valuable but the body of sharks are not at all valuable so it is not worth the cost of transporting the bodies. About 99% of the shark gets thrown back.
A big part of shark finning has to do with a long line. Long lines are used to catch swordfish, tuna and sharks. They can stretch out to over 100 miles long but can catch anything that bites the bait. In some areas such as the US Pacific coast, it has been banned. But it is still practiced in the majority of areas where it is legal. Long lines are killing protected species such as endangered sharks, loggerhead and leatherback turtles, and the albatross seabird.
Right now in Hong Kong, shark fin dealers are hiding their product from public view. People are hiding the fins on rooftops. Hong Kong has a huge market for shark fins and usually has 18,000 fins hiding daily. In my opinion, having shark fins hidden is just as bad as exposing it to the world.
People don’t realize what this is doing to our oceans. Over 100 million sharks die a year for their fins. This needs to be put to a stop immediately. Sharks help our ecosystem by keeping the reefs healthy! Sharks are the “kings” of the ocean, and how is the sea going to survive without them? Hopefully a law gets passed before June and our oceans are saved.