If the thought of sharks makes you envision a water skier meeting his end while the Jaws theme plays, think again. The reality is that there are only a handful of shark attacks around the world each year (only a few of which prove fatal), while humans kill about 73 million sharks a year. Hopefully that number will now take a dive, as the Bahamas has banned shark fishing and made 243,000 square miles of ocean into protected territory.
So why do we kill 73 million sharks every year? It certainly isn’t in self-defense. One of the main reasons is to fulfill the demand for shark-fin soup. Since only the fin is desired, sharks are dragged to the surface, their fins are cut off, and they are thrown back into the ocean to slowly die from their injuries, stress, or suffocation.
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The United States, Canada, the European Union, and several other countries also have laws against shark finning. Only if compassionate people continue to decry shark fishing and refuse to purchase any shark meat or shark products (including shark cartilage supplements) will sharks be protected from the truly dangerous predators: people.
Written by Michelle Sherrow