Problem: Shark Finning (Overfishing of Sharks for Their Fins)
Overfishing is caused when fish are caught at a faster rate than they can reproduce. Shark fins are used as a preventative medicine and cancer treatment, as well as a main ingredient in shark fin soup. Finning is the process of a shark getting caught, having its fins cut off, and having its dead carcass being discarded back into the ocean. This is an extremely wasteful and harmful practice. With almost 100 million killed each year, sharks are being driven to a higher risk of extinction due to overfishing. There are currently more than 135 species of sharks on the IUCN’s (International Union for Conservation of Nature) list of endangered animals and more are being added each year. Sharks are vulnerable to overfishing because of their long life spans, slow growth, and slow reproduction rates. As well as impacting the shark population, this also affects the ecosystem. Sharks are at the top of the food chain, which means they have little to no predators. This gives them the responsibility of keeping the rest of the food chain in balance.