He is Once a Predator, Now he is the Prey: STOP SHARK FINNING

He is Once a Predator, Now he is the Prey: STOP SHARK FINNING

February 5, 2020
Petition to
Philippine Association of Marine Science
Signatures: 1,459Next Goal: 1,500
Support now

Why this petition matters

Sharks have been feared by hunters ever since people first observed them swimming in the vast ocean. Yet today, sharks are declining rapidly on a global scale because humans have replaced them as the ocean's top predators. One way that humans hunt sharks is by using a practice called shark finning. This is the process of slicing off a shark’s fin and discarding the rest of the still-living body, often by dumping it back into the ocean.

Shark fins are tempting targets for fishermen because they have high monetary and cultural value. Shark fins are popularly used in shark fin soup, which is a symbol of status in Chinese culture. In the past, Chinese Emperors favored the soup as a dish that honored guests because it was thought to have medicinal benefits and represented a victory against powerful sharks. This popularity has not faded with time and has even expanded with China's growing population. Today shark fin soup is still prevalent and has become a staple for more than just emperors on special occasions. As a result, fishermen have a large incentive to gather and sell shark fins.

Many fishermen prefer to practice shark finning instead of bringing whole sharks to the market because the shark fins are far more valuable than the rest of the body, sometimes selling this cost as much as $500 a kilogram. Instead, fishermen choose to keep just the shark finsonly one to five percent of a shark’s weight and throw the rest of the shark away rather than have the less valuable parts take up space on the boat. The finned sharks are often thrown back into the ocean alive, where they do not die peacefully: unable to swim properly and bleeding profusely, they suffocate or die of blood loss.

Approximately 100 million sharks are killed globally each year, and one of the major incentives for this is the shark fin trade. With their slow growth and low reproductive rates, sharks are highly susceptible to extinction, and it is difficult for many shark species to replenish their populations as quickly as they are being diminished. Many species of sharks are currently in danger due to shark finning, including the scalloped hammerhead, which is endangered, and the smooth hammerhead, which is vulnerable according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

Negative effects of shark finning for the ecosystem:

The demise of shark populations is not just a sad story – the loss of these creatures has far reaching consequences for the rest of the ocean.

• Most sharks are considered to be apex predators, which means they sit on top of the food chain and help regulate the population sizes of the species below them. If some population sizes grow uncontrollably, this can lead to ecosystem instability.

• Sharks also serve as an indicator for ocean health. They usually go after the sick, weak and slower fish populations, which helps keep the food web healthy. Not only does this result in fewer unhealthy fish, but this also strengthens their gene pools, contributing to the evolution of species overtime.

Don't kill sharks just for the money. Like humans, sharks are also a part of the environment. They also have the freedom to live and enjoy the wave of happiness. Let them live. Save them before it's too late.


Support now
Signatures: 1,459Next Goal: 1,500
Support now

Decision Makers

  • Philippine Association of Marine Science