Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Tides of War Are Turning

Saving sharks has often been described as an not winnable war. Shark finning was long thought to be a practice that could not be brought down as long as the demand for fins remained so high. Sure it was illegal to fin sharks in United States waters, but who cared? Smuggling in fins was easy and there was plenty of demand in many states. Suddenly though the outgoing tide on sharks went slack. The state of Hawaii became the first state to outright ban the possession of shark fins, therefore banning the sale of shark fin soup! The decision shocked the world and woke a lot of nations and states up to what was really going on in the Oceans. Soon after, the states of California, Washington and Oregon all came up with similar laws that banned the possession of shark fins. Illinois then became the first land locked state to ban the possession of shark fins. Nations such as Guam, the Galapagos Islands, and more recently, Venezuela have created shark sanctuaries and some have even gone and flat out banned the possession of shark fins entirely.

Shark fins have always had a massive demand in the nation of China, but even there, the tide is starting to turn. Just mere days ago, China announced that it has banned shark fin soup from all state banquets. While that may not seem like much, it very well could be a strong sign of things to come. Many hotel chains and resorts in China have also stopped serving shark fin soup, still though many people view the soup as a prestigious item to be consumed thus the demand for fins remains high. The word is getting out. Shark finning is an incredibly dangerous practice that needs to be stopped. Facts spread like wildfire and more and more people are joining to fight for an animal that they may have never even seen before.

Conservation groups, both aggressively and passively have really stepped up their fights for sharks. Both Shark Angels and Sea Shepherd Conservation Society have launched campaigns in an effort to help police shark sanctuaries and bring shark fin poachers to justice while continuing to educate native peoples about these amazing animals. At the same time, groups such as Shark Savers continue to spread the truth about sharks and shark fin soup through educational means and petitions. The pressure is mounting around the world for a worldwide ban on shark finning. It is a deadly race against time. One can only hope that the whole world wakes up and sees the danger that shark fin soup creates. This planet can simply not survive without sharks. Without them, the Ocean will become a barren, toxic desert that will spread to all life, yes even humans, on land.

 As long as the Oceans still run red with the blood of sharks, the war will rage on. As more and more people join the fight for sharks, the poachers become more and more desperate. As more people learn the truth about shark fin soup, the more demand will drop and the value of fins will plummet. The tide that had been going out on sharks for so long has finally gone slack with sharks in an absolute state of desperation. With the latest announcements from China, Venezuela, and the state of Illinois, the war on shark finning has reached a turning point. At this point things can go two ways. One way is that the world can look at all of these nations, states, territories, etc. and simply ignore them and continue to destroy shark populations until there are simply none left. Or the chain reaction will continue and the race to save these animals will continue. The only way this can happen though is if people continue to be unrelenting in their personal efforts to save sharks.

Visit these websites and learn what these groups are doing, and what you can do to help sharks in your neighborhood. It does not matter if you live near a beach or inland. You can make a difference!

http://sharkangels.org/
http://www.seashepherd.org/operation-requiem/
http://www.sharksavers.org/
http://www.projectaware.org/
http://www.sharktrust.org/
   

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