The Importance Of Sharks: Finning And Management

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Sharks: Finning and Management
As the human population continues to increase, the demand for food also increases. An estimated 15 percent of consumed animal protein come from marine fish, and an overall 90 percent of the predatory fish, at the top of the food chain, are declining (Human, n.d). Hammerhead sharks, particularly scalloped hammerheads are the most threatened because of their fins and meat. The methods used for capturing this rare species are wasteful and cruel, and their decline is presenting tragic consequences for the ecosystem of the ocean (Shiffman, July 2014).
Finning, Overfishing, and Bycatch
Sharks are “apex” predators at the top of the ocean’s food chain. They keep the oceanic ecosystem balanced, which covers more than two-thirds of the planet. A decrease in sharks results in a decrease of algae and shellfish, such as scallops. This is because the sharks eat the predators that feed off of them (Domanico, 2014).
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Finning is also a wasteful practice because “less than 10% of the shark’s body weight is used” (Shiffman, 2012b). Many finnng laws are in place because of these things, but as a result of this banning, there has been an increase in demand for shark meat (Kronin, 2015).
Finning can lead to overfishing, which is when more fish get killed than necessary, usually at a faster rate than they can reproduce. If the fisherman only want fins, they will be able to fit more fins in a boat than if they caught and placed whole fish in the boat (Shiffman,

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