Can we stop the Trade of shark fins?

Many people wonder if the trade of shark fins is too powerful to stop. It is the driving force behind 70-100 million sharks being slaughtered every year. That may sound like an overwhelming number. And it truly is hard to fathom that we let it continue.

But there is a powerful movement that has been fighting back. Legislation has been passed all over the world to stop the act of finning, but it has proven to be ineffective for many reasons. In recent years, the push the ban the TRADE OF FINS has been gaining momentum. You may ask “What exactly is the difference between FINNING and the trade of fins?”. Well, to put it simply, it sounds like a technicality, but it comes down to what can and will be enforced. Catching someone in the act is a lot more difficult than prohibiting the possession and sale of the product. The same is true for other endangered species products such as rhino horn and ivory.

The driving force behind the trade is the massive profit margin. But these products are not essential to human nutrition or health. That is why their sale can be stopped overnight without much impact on the public. The impact is felt only on the side of commercial interests.

And that is why we can stop it. If the public demands it to stop then the governments are more likely to follow. If the governments follow, it will push the trade into illegal territory. 

More consumers will stop using a product that is illegal, and the few that remain will have to look for it on the black market. Some may say that it could empower the black market, but that can’t be a reason to stop trying. People can change and the market can change.

Read about how you can help stop the trade of shark fins here

photos © PangeaSeed

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