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Shark on UK plates highlights trade in endangered species
This article states that DNA tests in the UK have shown that some restaurants with shark products contain those vulnerable to extinction. It is nearly impossible for a regular consumer to be able to notice what kind of shark they are really eating. Shark fins have been known to be sold at high prices so they could be used for soup and some dishes in Asian cuisines. Abused for only their fins, the rest of the shark bodies are usually thrown back into the oceans; wasted away. Scientists discovered this in the UK by using DNA bar-coding methods. In response to the 100 samples retrieved at chip shops, the results were that out of the 78 samples on sale, 90% came from an endangered shark species known as the spiny dogfish. After watching documentaries such as "Sharkwater" and "Sharkwater Extinction", I know how important it is to preserve the shark species. Sharks are an apex predator that are apart of the backbone that sustains our marine ecosystems. Being abused just for their fins could cause a drastic imbalance in our populations.
If you would like to learn more about how big of an influence sharks are, I do recommend looking at Rob Stewart's past work. We need to pay more attention to our sharks and help others realize their importance on our planet.
I think you have highlighted the extent to which our human species goes to in order to meet the demands and to make money. I personally believe that the method of obtaining shark fins in the first place needs to be looked at closer and legislation against the cruel extractions of the fins. The discovery that the 90% of the fins were from an ENDANGERED species shows why so many species are becoming extinct. Although there are rules and regulations in regards to the interaction with endangered species, this article proves that in some cases those rules are not being followed, all for the demands and monetary benefits.
I found this article quite interesting and nice to read. As somebody who has also watched "Sharkwater," created and directed by Rob Stewart, I am able to understand the importance of sharks and their role in our ecosystem. They truly are, as you said, part of the backbone that sustains our marine ecosystem. Finning of any animal is a serious issue that us as humans have to confront more strictly and seriously. Finning of animals is an extremely wasteful, unsustainable way of using animals for resources. You take their fins and throw the rest of the body away, back into the ocean. This is similar to, for example, killing an ox only to take it's horns, leaving the carcass to rot. Doing this damages our environment more than it does help it. In addition, the fact that most of the sharks being finned are of endangered species only amplifies the issue of finning. Many sharks have been killed simply for their fins to be used in certain dishes and soups. Imitated shark fin exists for people to use in dishes instead, so there is no need to kill endangered sharks for their fins. However, people are greedy and will go to great lengths in order to make money, even if it means wiping out an entire species. I believe that not as many people are advocating for the protection of sharks since sharks are seen as violent, horrible monsters. Although there are many misconceptions of sharks and their nature, they are not as violent as media makes them seem. I believe that we as people should put more emphasis on the conservation of sharks as a species. Sharks are an essential part of our marine ecosystem so if they were ever to go extinct, our marine ecosystem will fall apart.

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