By Yenifer Canelon
The balance of the ecosystem is extremely important because all organisms belonging to the ecosystem depend upon each other to maintain this balance. All living organisms within an ecosystem are called a community. The organisms within a community are co-dependent upon each other. The relationship between these organisms forms a food web. A food web is a series of interconnecting food chains. The intricate links between organisms supporting each other form a food chain. This food chain is only one strand in a complex tangle of relationships.
Sharks play important role at all tropic levels of the ocean ecosystem from scavengers to super-predators. Scavengers prey upon dead or dying animals, super predators help to control populations and maintain prey species diversity by concentrating on the most available species. Is important to the ecology of the seas by removing the weakest, sick and dead so that the fittest survive.
Since the 1970s the populations of several species have been decimated by over 95%. This problem is made worse because sharks reproduce very slowly, taking years to reach sexual maturity and then reproducing few young. Many species will not be able to out-reproduce the demands of the shark fin trade. Sharks have survived for 450 million years and if we keep killing them for their fins and other reasons they will be gone within a few years, and of course there will be no more shark fin soup, other seafood species will disappear, and the oceans will no longer support the healthy balance of sea life that we need to survive.
Shark Finning it’s becoming a very popular fishing activity around the World, every year tens of millions of sharks die a slow death because of finning. Sharks play an important role in the ocean food chain. If sharks decline to seriously low numbers, commercial fisheries could be threatened.
What is Shark Finning?
Shark Finning refers to the inhumane practice of hacking off the shark’s fins and throwing its still living body back into the sea. The sharks either starve to death, are eaten alive by other fish, or drown, this is because if they are not in constant movement their gills cannot extract oxygen from the water. Shark finning takes place at sea so the fishers only transport the fins. Shark meat is considered low value and therefore not worth the cost of transporting the bulky shark bodies to market. Any shark is taken-regardless of age, size, or species. Longlines, used in shark finning operations, are the most significant cause of losses in shark populations worldwide
Shark fins are being “harvested” in ever greater numbers to feed the growing demand for shark fin soup, an Asia, especially on China and Japan. Shark specialists estimate that 100 million sharks are killed for their fins, annually. One pound of dried shark fin can retail for $300 or more. It’s a multi-billion dollar industry.
What are the Impacts of Shark Finning Activity?
If The Shark Finning Activity continues more and more each year, probably the impact will be Loss and devastation of shark populations around the world. Experts estimate that within a decade, most species of sharks will be lost because of long lining, this means this is a unsustainable fishery, also its affecting directly to the local waters are invaded by large industrial, foreign fishing vessels that repress traditional sustainable fisheries. The massive quantity of sharks harvested and lack of selection reduce shark populations faster than their reproductive abilities can replenish populations.
Finning is responsible for the death of between 88 million to 100 million sharks every year. Exact numbers are unknown because the practice is illegal in many places and hauls aren’t accurately counted. At the rate humans are going, we’re set to wipe out sharks entirely in as little as 10-20 years.
Another big problem for the ocean and their organisms is that the Shark Finning fishery activity threatens the stability, balance and maintaining of the marine ecosystem. Creating a big hazard for the environment and will disturb the Natural Cycle of Life in The Ocean.
Shark Finning on Indonesia.
Indonesia is the world’s biggest catcher of sharks, many of which are finned while the fishing vessels are at the sea. Indonesia catches more sharks than any other country in the world: in 2004 it caught 15% of the world’s total catch (122,000 tonnes). In addition to this the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that 90,000 tonnes of shark catch from long-line fishing in Indonesian waters goes unrecorded.
Indonesia is a key exporter of shark fins to external markets such as Hong Kong, China and Singapore. The current level of shark catch is unsustainable, both economically and ecologically; within a few years many species of shark which were previously common, such as the black tip shark, could become extinct, and this will have big environmental impact and consequences would also result in the end of the Indonesian shark fishing industry.
As a major exporter and consumer of shark fins, Indonesia is in an ideal model to lead the system on the international stage with this problem and to create a valuable contribution to the conservation of shark species.
Are There Laws Against Shark Finning?
There are some laws in some areas worldwide, but eventually, they’re incredibly difficult to enforce. The 2000 U.S. Shark Finning Prohibition Act restricts shark finning in all federal waters and both coasts. It also calls for an international effort to prohibit shark finning globally. The first international ban on finning was instated in 2004 with sponsorship from the United States, the European community, Canada, Japan, Mexico, Panama, South Africa, Trinidad (Tobago) and Venezuela, and support from Brazil, Namibia and Uruguay. This international ban, however, has proven to be more posturing than action since only the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Namibia, South Africa and the European Union (EU) have actual laws in place.
Much of the problem surrounding laws with shark finning is enforcement. If a country sees fit to create a law, they have to then somehow come up with the resources to monitor the oceans over which they have jurisdiction, and to punish those who break the law. Some countries just simply don’t have the resources.
ROLE Foundation stance on the current worldwide shark fin consumption culture, Specially in Indonesia and we believe that the health of the Marine Environment and the health of Coastal Communities are related.
The Sharks Specialist have confirm that over 8,000 tons of shark fins are processed each year. The fins only amount to 4% of a shark’s bodyweight. This means that some 200,000 tons of shark are thrown back into the sea and useless. the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), has confirm that already 18 species of sharks have been listed as endangered.
We can do our part by not eating shark fin soup and encouraging our family and friends not to eat it. The taste of shark fin soup is not shark. Shark fin does not contain the traditionally believed high levels of nutrition content.
“Three sharks, regardless of their age, size and species, are being killed every second to satisfy the demand for shark fin. At this rate, not only will shark finning leads to the extinction of sharks and its market, it will also causes severe imbalances to the ocean ecosystem.
Sharks play a big role in the evolution of oceanic creatures; they give most species their drives to schooling behavior, camouflage, speed and formation. The continues practice of shark finning would lead to the emergence of an increase in other species who are easy preys. This will leads to the decline of ocean biodiversity, which in the long run can result in the loss of important seafood that humans depend on for survival.”
Share this with all your family and friends, Let them know that Sharks are in Danger and help “Play a Role”
For more Info: www.rolefoundation.org, email: Baliecosurfrescue@rolefoundation.org