Saving the predators

Published: Saturday 15 February 1997

sharks in the Atlantic are in dire straits indeed. Their plight has led the national marine fisheries service of the us to propose stringent restrictions on shark fishing. There has been a sharp decline in shark populations -- by as much as 80 per cent for some Atlantic species -- due to increased fishing for shark fin soup and other delicacies. Fisherfolk haul the sharks onto a boat, slice off their fins and toss the live animals back into water. Unable to swim, the sharks sink and die. The practice of 'finning' continues despite recent bans by the us and other countries. Shark fins fetch upto us $50 a kg in Hong Kong fish markets.

The proposed reduction by 50 per cent in annual quotas for certain coastal sharks will take effect in February and a complete ban will soon be imposed on the fishing of five of the most threatened shark species. As the top predator in the marine food chain, sharks play an important role in the complex web of life in the sea.

Subscribe to Daily Newsletter :

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.