Frist, I am writing a paper and wanted people to know about shark fining. Let me paint the picture of why we need to know about this topic (let me set the mood right #Justin Timberlake). The ocean is a vast place, full of beauty and filled with unexplored resources. It covers almost seventy-five percent of our Earth. It can also be a scary place for most people, due to the limited information we have about the ocean and maybe because as a society we fear what we don’t understand, which could misguide our feelings and ideas regarding its beauty and splendor. Ten years ago, I feared what I didn’t understand about what lurked in the ocean. I based my ideas of the sea on a movie named “Jaws” that depicted sharks as monsters, which made me terrified of the deep abyss. Once I moved to Hawaii, I started spending more time in the water and encountered sharks periodically. I started to realize that Jaws was a very horrific misrepresentation of these beautiful creatures because of my personal encounters with sharks. I then became interested in wanting to learn more about sharks. I was fascinated with the crucial role sharks play in our existence. Sharks have been swimming the ocean for about four hundred million years. They are the kings of the ocean due to their evolutionary success and adaptability to survive. After the movie Jaws, hunting sharks became a trend that dramatically reduced the species by 50% percent. While without tangible evidence fear and a misunderstanding convince our society that sharks cause more harm to us, when actuality sharks are essential to our survival. Our misunderstanding of sharks is symptomatic of our inability to understand sharks, which can lead to our own extinction. As a society, we fear the unknown and because we fear what we fully don’t understand we become victims of that fear.
The over killing of sharks has grown over the last forty-years. The killing is done in an awful and cruel way to these beautiful creatures we take for granted. It is called finning and the way it is done is by hacking off the shark’s fins and just tossing the rest of the mutilated shark back into the ocean. The fin is then used to prepare what is called shark fin soup. The soup has no flavor, no color, and is consumed primarily by Asian countries just to demonstration a symbol of status. The shark fins are very valuable and shark meat is worth so little and that is the reason why the shark is just tossed back into the ocean as a worthless piece of trash. The bizarre thing about it is that the people that consume shark put themselves at high risk of Cyanobacterial Neurotoxin B-N-Methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA). This neurotoxin has been linked to diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and ALS (Neil hammerschlag). In addition to the deadly effects it poses to humans, shark fins have no nutritional value. The ocean isn’t a terrifying place because of sharks in the water. It’s a terrifying place without sharks in the ocean. We are the real Jaws. Thank you for reading.