The life history traits of most shark species, including late maturity, slow growth rate low fecundity ( few offspring) make them particularly vulnerable to overfishing. According to a study done by the IUCN, 25% of all shark and ray species are threatened with extinction. The findings are part of the first ever global analysis of these species carried out by the IUCN Shark Specialist Group (SSG). Listed below are the reasons why sharks are disappearing at an alarming rate.
Shark finning is the removal and retention of sharks while at sea. Once the fins have been removed the carcass (body) is thrown back into the ocean. Without fins, the sharks are unable to swim and pass water over its gills, which results in the death either from suffocation or predation by other animals. Shark fins are used in shark fin soup, a traditional Asian dish. This soup is among one of the most valuable fishery products in the world, with the price of fins ranging from $US . This lucrative business has led to an estimated 26 million to 73 million sharks being killed every year to support this trade. Sometimes there is confusion regarding sharks fins and shark finning. Shark fins on the market did not necessarily come from finning, but they could have. Here are some definitions to help understand this issue.
Shark Finning: Removal and retention of shark fins and the discarding at sea of the carcass.