- Sharks are important apex predators, meaning they are at the top of the food chain and maintain ecosystem balance by removing old, sick or injured fishes.
- Most species of shark need to swim continuously to stay alive, because this keeps water moving over their gills.
- Sharks are particularly vulnerable to overfishing, because they a take a long time to reach reproductive maturity, and have few young.
- Shark finning is the practice of slicing off the fins of a shark while it is still alive. Sharks are then returned to the water, incapable of swimming. They die slowly from predation, starvation or drowning.
- Shark fins are used in soup and as an aphrodisiac in some cultures.
- It is estimated that between 26 million and 73 million sharks are finned each year.
- The European Union and the United States have banned the practice of shark finning. Current legislation requires a shark to be landed with its entire body intact, to prevent the wasteful act of shark finning at sea. This measure also ensures that the shark species landed are not protected species.
By Bluewater | 22 November 2012
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