I once had a conversation with a friend who didn’t think that “finning” was actually occurring. The argument that was made was that a fisherman would never waste that much shark. Why would a fisherman scraping by throw most of the shark overboard just for the fins. However, that argument actually proves that the poor fisherman would throw most of the shark overboard. Let’s look at this economically. Hey! I’m going to use my major!
The demand for fins is much higher than the demand for the rest of the shark, and there is much less supply for it when you consider how much more of the shark there is. So, lets say that the average price per pound of the overall shark is five dollars per pound. But the price of the fins per pound is 15 dollars per pound. It makes sense for the fisherman to dump the shark overboard and make room for more fins.
Of course, I am not supporting the finning of sharks. Come on! I love sharks. Ignoring the fact that live sharks are the sign a healthy ecosystem, and ignoring that sharks are not as dangerous as the media makes them out to be, Sharks deserve our respect. Local economies can actually benefit from shark diving. Look at Guadeloupe, Mexico. They have turned the three months when the great whites are there into a fantastic location. The Bahamas have some of the best tiger shark locations for diving. Sharks should be studied, not finned.
Now, I admit, I don’t know how much I can do for the sharks. I know that I will never eat at a restaurant that serves shark fin soup. I know that I share and repost everything I can about finning. I try to talk to the few who would actually eat sharks out of doing that. But what else is there? I guess I could blog about it…