The Truth about Sharks

The Truth about Sharks

The shark’s huge body, razor-sharp teeth, and predatory instincts are things that really scare people. So it’s no wonder that sharks are often depicted as vicious animals roaming around the Earth’s ocean waiting to attack.

They have often been shown in movies and TV shows terrorizing swimmers, surfers and divers. For this reason sharks are regarded as villains of the deep blue sea. This is one of reasons most people don’t feel bad when sharks are caught, killed, and sold at the market.

Shark Facts

A huge whale shark swims towards the camera

Joanne Weston

Did you know that sharks are prehistoric animals?

They are believed to have existed approximately 340 million years ago. This was before land vertebrates existed and before plants even began to grow on the Earth’s surface.

Of cause the prehistoric sharks do look different compared to the sharks we know today, but the part of the worlds evolution.

Even though most sharks are predators, there are some types of sharks that are gentle in nature. For example, the whale shark is not only gentle it’s also the biggest shark and only feeds on plankton.

You properly know the Great white shark as a wild fears monster from movies like Jaws. This is not a true picture of the shark. The great white shark is a predator, but we as humans are not on their food chain. Remember this next time you think of the sharks.

The Sad Truth about Sharks

Hainaultphoto

Hainaultphoto

Unfortunately sharks are counted as an endangered marine animal.

They are on of the many types of marine animals that are hunted and killed because their meat is considered a delicacy.

In fact, shark is a major delicacy in some Asian countries. Here they make shark fin soup and to the extreme price of $80 to $100 per bowl. Since this is a sought after delicacy so many countries, a lot of other nations such as Japan, India, the Philippines, and many others continue to catch shark despite them being almost extinct.

The shark population in the world continues to worsen because so few countries still haven’t banned shark fin soup. The most recent data showed an average of 73 million sharks is killed every year.

Ending Shark Killings

Chinese shark fin soup

Dustin Dennis

At one time there wasn’t anything done to protect sharks, however, that has changed. Today there are many shark advocates that are committed to ending shark killings worldwide.

These groups have quite big success with their efforts in convincing the international community of the dangers of shark finning.

For example, China was previously the leading country allowing shark consumption. Today, the State Council of the People’s Republic of China removed shark fin soup from their official banquets. But don't let yourself be fooled there are still a long way to go before shark finning are banned all over the world.

What You Can Do to Stop the Killing of Sharks

The first thing you can do is to stop purchasing products made from sharks. Do not buy shark fin soup, shark meat, shark vitamins, shark teeth or any other shark related products.

Or you can act against this cruelty! Find organizations you think are doing a good job saving the sharks.  You could look at Shark Savers or Project Aware

Do you LOVE sharks and what are you doing to help them? Tell us in a comment below!

About The Author

Torben Lonne

Torben is a top skilled PADI MSDT instructor. He has worked several years with scuba diving in Indonesia and Thailand - and dived most of his life in most of the world.He is also the co-founder and chief-editor of DIVE.in you can always catch him here [email protected]

8 Comments

  1. Alma Fernada

    I can’t get why anyone could get them self to kill such a beautiful animal. They are so magnificent!

    Reply
    • Torben Lonne

      They really are. Thank you for sharing your opinion.

  2. Simon Eli

    I had an all shark dive in Fiji. It was scary but such a great experience! I hope my sons can get the same experience one day. So everyone please help the sharks so our children also can see them!

    Reply
    • Torben Lonne

      I’ve heard really great things about the Fiji shark dives. Sounds really great. Let’s hope we can stop the killings and keep sharks as a part of our eco-system. Thanks for commenting, Simon.

  3. Dan

    this is because those retards believe that if they eat the animal , they’ll take their power…and as the shark can’t get cancer…they think that. Well I hope they will get , then they’ll spread the word that the shark soup it’s a hoax , so they’ll stop eating it

    Reply
  4. Tristan Paylado

    We all know that doing our own and individual efforts by not buying anything made from sharks is a big thing,especially for us divers.

    But if i may suggest, lets take this campaign to the next level. we all know that the shark population worldwide has greatly decline because of its demand. we also know that not all shark species are protected by law and laws vary from each country. But we know that most countries derived their policy regulation and conservation programs from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna or CITES.

    With this, why not all divers in the world unite in knocking the doors of CITES Authority and Experts to include all species of sharks and CITES appendices may vary depending on the species vulnerability.

    In this way, when CITES includes all shark species, then there’s no reason for anyone to continue the trade of shark finning.

    Who’s with me?

    Reply
  5. Jupp Kerckerinck

    That is a great idea, the problem is to get it to work. I was at the CITES convention in Doha and had to watch how countries like Japan, China, Singapore and Iceland were buying votes and bribing other smaller countries, who have no ocean nor sharks under their jurisdiction, to vote in their favor. In Doha we did not get a single one of five species of sharks protected. Much later it happened with a few hammerheads, the porbeagle and oceanic whitetip sharks. I am just pointing out how difficult it is to get the majority of 135 countries to vote for saving the sharks, as long as poor countries are getting paid for their votes. Even NOAA, the US government agency for the fisheries, among other things, has recently changed regulations and now allows shark fishing again in Florida. I am not saying that fighting for the sharks is not the right thing to do, I’ve been doing it for 15 years now. I believe that we must keep up the pressure on those agencies and countries, but it’s not going to be easy.

    Reply
    • Torben Lonne

      Hi Jupp, Yes I read a lot about this after CITES, I agree it’s an important fight bugt it’s not and easy one. Thanks for the 15 years of fighting for our beloved sharks! What are you involved in exactly?

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