Shark finning is a brutal practice. A shark is caught, pulled onboard a boat, its fins are cut off, and the still-living shark is tossed back overboard to drown or bleed to death.
The wasteful, inhumane practice is done to satisfy a demand for shark fins, which can fetch as much as $300 per pound. The meat, on the other hand, is far less valuable, so fishermen toss it overboard to save space for more fins.
Not only is it an intensely wasteful and harmful practice, it's also essentially pointless since shark fins have no nutritional or medicinal value. And they're practically flavorless. Yet, finning continues, to the point that these animals so vital to the ecological balance of our oceans are about to be wiped out completely
What's so great about shark fin soup? Really, nothing. They have no nutritional value and are practically tasteless. When it comes to shark fin soup, all the flavor comes from the broth. The fins are added just for texture and novelty. The shark fin is merely a status symbol and a mark of tradition. Still, shark fin soup is part of Asian culture, particularly in China and Taiwan, as a meal eaten during celebrations among the wealthy. But with their economies rapidly growing, more people can afford to buy this symbol of a luxurious life and the demand for shark fins is increasing. Unfortunately, it is increasing in conjunction with a serious decrease in shark populations globally.
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.
Because sharks are at the top of the food chain and have few predators, they reproduce and mature slowly. That means their numbers are slow to replenish when a population is overfished. At the rate humans are going, we're set to wipe out sharks entirely in as little as 10-20 years.
Sharks are an apex predator. Apex predators are invaluable for keeping the populations of everything else in the food chain in balance. The oceans depend on them to keep the numbers of other fish and mammal species in check and weed out the sick, injured and dying so that populations of fish stay strong and healthy. Without sharks -- from bottom feeders all the way up to Great Whites -- the balance of the ocean's food chain is in danger.
This is not just a guessing game, either. We've already seen the impact a loss of sharks can have on an ecosystem. According to Shark Savers, a scientific study conducted in the mid-Atlantic part of the United States showed that when 11 species of sharks were nearly eliminated, 12 of the 14 species those sharks once fed on became so plentiful that they damaged the ecosystem, including wiping out the species farther down the food chain on which they preyed. The negative effects trickle out as the ecosystem gets thrown out of balance.
We the undersigned, implore Jason's Market Place to end their support of the shark finning industry, by refusing to sell shark fin products in its stores. We also call on Jason's Market Place to do their part by educating its customers on this cruel, outdated, and needless practice.
If Jason's Market Place does not heed to this request, we the undersigned will boycott all of its locations in Taiwan, until it changes its selling practices.
This petition will be turned over to their head office in Taipei on December 31st, 2011. They will be given 3 months to comply with the requests of the undersigned.
Please only sign this petition if you are a RESIDENT of Taiwan and in a position to boycott their stores. Your support is appreciated, but the power of this petition is measured by the number of people who can physically make a difference by refusing to patronize Jason's. If you have a friend or family member in Taiwan, please forward this petition to them.
Thank you for your support. Together we can make a difference and help to end this brutal practice.
The Stand Up for Sharks and Boycott Jason's Market Place petition to Jason's Market Place was written by Desiree LeClair and is in the category Animal Welfare at GoPetition.