A Pursuasive Essay on Why Shark Finning Should Be Banned

Essay by tropictangoHigh School, 12th gradeA+, February 2005

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Shark Finning Should Be Banned

Shark finning is a cruel act which should be banned worldwide. Sharks are the top apex predator of our planet's oceans, and as an apex predator they control the balance of all marine life by harvesting the sick, weak and dying creatures in its environment.

Picture a fishing boat out at sea. The fishermen are lowering miles and miles of cable lined with thousands of baited hooks. These cables drift on the ocean currents before being slowly hauled back into the fishing vessel. With this type of long-line fishing technique almost every hook will have a sea creature on it and some are more desirable to the fisherman than others. The most common species to be caught are dolphins, turtles, swordfish, tuna and sharks. The fishermen unhook every single carcass, whether it is dead or half-alive. Tuna and Swordfish are cleaned and stored but all the others are considered "by-catch" and are discarded as "trash", dead or alive.

The exception is the shark whose fins are easily stored in the deep freezers on board the vessel after being hacked from the bodies of the still living animals. The mutilated bodies of the sharks are thrown overboard to die an agonizing and slow death. This horrible and wasteful practice in its own right is bad enough, but when one considers the waste of 90% of this source of protein in a starving world the crime takes monumental proportions. The resale of this delicacy is a very lucrative business when sold in the oriental fish markets.

So, is this process really necessary to provide a cultural delicacy to the wealthy populace in Asia? A bowl of shark fin soup will sell for as much as $400.00! First off, the actual fin of the shark when boiled has...