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  • Writer's pictureMako

Every diver should vote against shark finning

Updated: Jul 18, 2022


Most scuba divers cherish natural encounters with sharks. I am no exception. Perhaps not with all shark species, but certainly with majority of them. It is very worrying that today I see fewer and fewer sharks even in waters where they used to be abundant.


The reasons for shark disappearance is not difficult to find. A major factor is that many sharks are indiscriminately slaughtered solely for their fins, which are used in shark fin soup, pushing many species to the brink of extinction. Every year, between 60 and 100 million sharks are killed through this barbaric practice.


As the worldwide number of unreported cases of illegal shark fishing is extremely high, it is likely that this number is even higher. 181 shark species are included in the Red List of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), considered to be vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered. That is more than 30% of all shark species. A shocking statistic.


The practice of trading shark fins is a global problem. The annual global shark fin trade amounts to around USD $540 million, so it is unlikely to end anytime soon. The only way to stop it is by making it financially unviable, and via regulation of the trade.


We in the diving community must advocate on this subject at every possible opportunity, at every level.


All EU citizens still have ten days until 31st January 2022 to vote in a once in lifetime opportunity to change EU legislation and stop shark finning. Sign the EU petition “STOP FINNING – STOP THE TRADEwww.stop-finning-eu.org.


We need to seek out opportunities to support initiatives of many organizations around the globe to stop shark fishing and particularly shark finning, and to support the conservation work being done to protect these extraordinary creatures. For info about some of the groups involved, check out the Sharks and Rays category on www.scubavox.com/conservation.

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