Spotlight: shark finning (repost from Oceanwire)

The Power of Information: how one video changed a country’s laws on shark finning.

Oceanwire

In 1997, Costa Rican Randall Arauz managed to get video of sharks being finned by Taiwanese fishermen in his country’s waters. That video helped light a movement on fire.  He explains in this video (warning – graphic shark-finning content):

Costa Ricans were outraged and many worked to end shark finning in their waters. A total ban was finally signed just a few months ago.

But the trade goes on, as a tragic demand is supplied with fins from sharks around the world. Weeks ago, photographers Alex Hofford and Gary Stokes documented a shark fin-drying operation, on a Hong Kong rooftop by the sea (slideshow):

Alex Hofford wrote “We estimated 30,000 fins from around 4,000 sharks.” When he snapped his photos another day, Gary Stokes estimated there were 15,000 to 20,000 fins laid out to dry on the rooftop on Hong Kong island ahead of an anticipated surge in demand over Lunar New Yearin February this year.

The Pew Environment Group says “Up to 73 million sharks are killed every year to primarily support the global shark fin…

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