So many people are afraid of sharks, mostly thanks to the blockbuster Jaws, but the real villain in the water is us. A new undercover video featured by Sea Shepherd shows extraordinary images of what soon will be the sixth great extinction. The shark fin trade is not a single countries problem, but a global one.
The shocking video explores a shark fin market in Guang Zhou, China in February 2014. The hallways are filled with murder, barrel after barrel of shark fins crowd hallways, back rooms, and floor after floor. For a market open on just one day in one city, the number is devastating.
The amount of shark fins in this one building could not have come from just one country. The Japanese and Chinese get much of the blame for shark fin culls, but it’s a global problem and the U.S. has its own part in it. Although many countries have banned the sale of shark fins, the laws still allow for the collection and sale of shark fins to other countries where markets are legal.
It’s estimated that 100 million sharks are killed every year for their fins. According to Sea Shepherd Australia, some of the countries that contribute the most shark fins to the trade include Spain, Costa Rica, Mexico, and yes, the United States.
There are signs of hope as the market begins to change. After China banned shark fin soup from all government events, shark fin markets, like the one in the video, saw sales drop by 70 percent. Unfortunately, this has not been enough of a drop in demand for the markets to go under.
It’s time for EVERY country to actively work together to end shark culls and the shark fin trade before the next great extinction!