All sharks are endangered species, and it will take an all out effort to save them from extinction. A lot of worthless laws and regulations have been legislated that do nothing to save sharks. For example, in January of 2011, President Barack Obama signed the “Shark Conservation Act” into law. The new law prohibits any boat to carry shark fins without the corresponding number and weight of carcasses, and all sharks must be brought to port with their fins attached.
Obama’s new law was designed only to stop the “shark finning” and did nothing to protect sharks from being killed. In fact, this ruling only caused more destruction of shark populations. Under this ruling, a fisherman could catch a shark, take it back to port, remove its fins and sell the remainder of the shark for food, then return to the sea to keep killing more sharks.
To solve the catastrophic problem of protecting and saving sharks from extinction, the laws of supply and demand have to be taken into account. The demand for sharks is mostly coming from people in China, Taiwan, Malaysia and other Asian countries. Even though the slaughter of sharks is an unsustainable market, the instigators of the shark trade are unwilling to stop their out of control decimation of sharks.
The criminals must be stopped before it is too late. When the fish are all gone, the ecosystems of the oceans will be destroyed, and the human race will be deprived of exotic forms of life that should have never been killed. The majority of people in the world should never allow corruptive subversives and sadistic poachers to rob them of creatures that took millions of years to evolve. The demand for sharks has to be eliminated before the supply of sharks will be safe.
A lot of research is being done in the study of sharks. In reality, none of this research is directly benefitting the sharks. It is an invasive and stressful procedure for the fish to be removed from the water and tagged. It is questionable about what good can come out of all this gathering of information when poachers are still being allowed to decimate shark populations. The scientists and fishing authorities should be a lot more focused on identifying, tracking down and prosecuting poachers rather than tagging and tracking down fish.
An organization called “Shark Guard” investigated the illegal shark trade in Taiwan and found alarming violations of the international laws that protect sharks. The investigation was conducted between December 2020 and March 2021. The fins of endangered shark species were being advertised and sold in the Taiwanese fishing port of Kaohsiung. Shark fins were also being sold illegally online by shark fin traders. The investigation covered 13 shark fin processing and trading companies; more than half were trading in fins prohibited by the convention on international trade in endangered species. There were seven traders found to have fins from illegally killed sharks, including silky, oceanic whitetip, mako, thresher and great white sharks.
Taiwan is a country that the United States has vowed to protect, but it is now caught up in organized crime and corruption in the fishing industry. Many of the people of Taiwan talk of freedom and independence, but in their midst are criminals of the most degenerate sort. The government of Taiwan has done little or nothing to prosecute criminals of the illegal shark fin trade.
False beliefs and superstitions, including the belief that tiger bones and rhino horns have special magical powers have made the protection of endangered animals more difficult. Some buyers of shark fins pay $10,000 to $20,000 for a single fin of a whale shark or a basking shark; when degenerates create a demand like this, it is an incentive for poachers all over the world to illegally kill sharks.
Shark fin soup dates back to the Song Dynasty of 960-1279. Some people cling to old recipes regardless of legitimate reasons to give them up. Aside from presenting a major threat to shark populations, shark fin soup should be taken off the menu because of the accumulations of mercury and other poisons in sharks. According to studies, it is mostly the older generations of Asians who indulge in the consumption of shark fin soup.
The impact on shark populations is graphically demonstrated in a recent huge shark fin haul confiscated in Columbia, South America. The fins were in a shipment going to Hong Kong from the Bogota Airport. There were 3493 fins in the shipment, which came from between 900 and 1000 sharks illegally killed for their fins. Authorities in Columbia indicated that the fins came from the southwest in the vicinity of Roldanillo. The shipping company had notified the authorities about the poachers and their cargo.
Organized criminals in China and other Asian countries have set up black markets of the shark trade that have corrupted fishing companies all over the world. Poachers in countries like Spain, Britain and even in the United States have been drawn into the illegal shark trade for the illicit monetary rewards.
It’s not the first time that people in China and other Asian countries have been responsible for mass exterminations of animals. The Chinese and Japanese have caused the extermination of hundreds of thousands of elephants by creating a black market of buying elephant tusks. Most of the ivory was used in making worthless artifacts. The criminals of the ivory trade have paid poverty stricken poachers in Africa and Asia to kill the elephants. Most of the illegal elephant parts have been shipped through the port of Hong Kong.
The facts about past human caused mass exterminations of animals represents a dire warning about what happens when the majority of people are too apathetic to protect the animals. The sharks can be saved only if the majority of people take swift and decisive action to protect them. The subversive instigators and sadistic poachers in the illegal shark trade may only be in the minority, but they are criminals who can only be stopped by being fully prosecuted for their crimes.
--Marlin O. Wallace