3 Ways to Save Sharks
Updated: Jul 9, 2018
Worldwide, every year, an average of 80 people die because of shark related accidents.
Worldwide, every year, more than 100 million sharks get killed by fishing practices.
Since the 1970s more than 95% of worldwide shark population disappeared.
This is because of trawling nets and long lines that catch and suffocate with no distinction whatever they encounter. Plus, shark finning.
Unregulated fishing practices lead to the extermination of million of sharks annually
There is a high demand for shark fins in some asian countries (China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore among others) as it is used to prepare shark fin soup: a tasteless, nutrient devoid gelatinous mess status symbol.
There is also a worrying demand for shark cartilage all over the world in alternative clinics as a cancer remedy.
Sharks are good. But not for eating. They’re good alive, roaming reefs and oceans, because they keep the fish population under control, they promote the survival of the healthy and cut the numbers of sick.
So, here is the problem:
How do we stop all of this?
Life Planet Project follows a three folded approach:
Reduce the market's offer of shark products
Reduce the sales of shark products
Educate the consumer to alternative products
Shrink the market
We must lobby local governments to implement national laws that improve fishing regulations, discouraging shark fishing. Governments must promote the introduction of new fishing techniques such as geodesic domes to replace old ones such as trawling nets. If fishermen can't fish shark legally, if their techniques don't produce sharks as bycatch, there'll be less of them to be sold.
Reduce the sales outlets
Removing shark meat from restaurants and shops prevents it to reach the consumer. In the Western world shark is mainly consumed because of its cheap price, not it's quality or nutritional value (both lacking). We can replace shark meat with equally inexpensive products: your ceviche's taste is not going to get worse, and nobody at the supermarket is going to complain because there's no shark fillet in the fridge.
Educate the consumer
It all starts from there. If people knew what was going on with the sharks, why they're important for the health of the planet and why eating shark is unhealthy, they'd be more inclined in choosing products that don't contain shark meat. It happen for the tuna industry with dolphins, it happened for the packaged food industry with palm oil and trans fats, it can happen for sharks too. Convincing asians that shark fin soup is terrible, it may take Gordon Ramsay and some serious Greenpeace prodding.
Whatever your current role in the world is, you can embrace one of these three directions and commit to make a change.