More than shark fining hurts the creatures living in oceans

Most of us are appalled at the shark fining industry, even though the shark fins are used for food. People who eat seafood need not be so judgmental in regards to this practice. Where do you think much of the fish and shrimp people consume come from? They come from commercial long-line fishing and long drift nets.

These long lines can be from 10 to 100 miles long and have a hook approximately every six feet on the long line. At any one moment on the planet there are over 40,000 miles of long lines catching all these animals. It is not sustainable just as shark fishing isn’t. Yet we think this is OK and shark fishing is not.

Due to commercial long-line fishing approximately 300,000 sea birds are killed each year, thousands of endangered sea turtles, over 50 million sharks and rays and 250,000 cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) are killed. It is estimated that up to 25 percent of the catch is thrown back into the ocean. This doesn’t even include the long drift nets that are also used to catch your lunch or dinner. This practice is almost as devastating.

Commercial long-line fishing and net fishing are unsustainable, and our ocean ecosystems are being destroyed by them. So the next time you bite into your fish lunch or dinner remember many other fish, turtles, cetaceans and birds died to supply you with that meal, just as the shark fin soup the Chinese are consuming.

Henry Kantrowitz
Punta Leona

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