The Phantom Voice
By Megan Alden
There has been much controversy about whether shark finning should be banned altogether or not. Shark finning is the removal of shark fins when the shark is still alive, and often sharks are thrown back into the water still alive and end up drowning due to the loss of their fin which they need in order to swim. Shark Finning is mainly done by the Chinese since Shark Fin Soup is a popular meal in their country, which is what shark finning is mostly done for. There are advantages and disadvantages of shark finning. The pros are that the people who sell shark fins make a lot of money, shark finning can be used to control overpopulating shark species, and when the sharks die the other fish in the sea can feed off of it. Although, the cons of shark finning are that the deaths of sharks can affect the food chain, the sharks would suffer from an agonizing death since the shark would drown because of the lack of mobility, it would also suffocate because the gills would not be able to filter oxygen fast enough for it to breathe, and shark finning could possibly lead to extinction.
About 100 million sharks are killed by humans every year, yet only a small amount of countries have completely banned shark finning. The United States has banned shark finning in their waters, however, they still buy, trade and sell shark fins with other countries. It is being debated whether the United States should take part in The Shark Fin Trade Elimination Act that would not only get the United States out of the shark trade business, but put the United States as leader in the shark conversation as well.
Many will eat Shark Fin Soup because they believe that consuming shark fins can lead to great health benefits, however this is false. There is no scientific evidence that supports the claim that eating this leads to medicinal and health benefits. Studies even show that sharks show the highest amount of mercury and other toxins found in fish that would negatively affect people’s health.
Although there are benefits to shark finning, the negatives outweigh the positives by far. It is not worth risking people’s health, jeopardizing the ecosystem, and putting innocent animals through torture and having them suffer, all for pleasure. Shark finning and any form of trading or selling should be banned altogether. It is not worth it.