“A man is called selfish not for pursuing his own good, but for neglecting his neighbor’s.” – Richard Whately
“A selfish man is a thief. ” – Jose Marti
I’m not introducing this week’s post with the word “selfish” to be punny. (Although, the fact that it is sel-fish does seem to fit in well the rest of the ridiculous words I like to create and hyphenate for the sake of being witty) Rather, the word “selfish” is the only word that I can find for humans today that seems to classify the majority of them at once. Humans care more about making themselves happy and comfortable than about most other things. Their indifference is frustrating and their gluttony shames the human race time and time again. So why am I ranting on about how selfish humans can be? Because it is their destructively selfish ways that are quickly killing off sharks. Each time a person decides to benefit themselves instead of another creature, for example, ordering a bowl of shark-fin-soup, they increase the suffering of another.
Every order of shark-fin-soup leads to the malicious murder of hundreds of sharks. (And who is doing this killing? Surprisingly enough, HUMANS! ) And as these sharks are being massacred, nearly 100 of the 400 species of sharks have become endangered. According to Shark Foundation, a well-known site among us shark fiends that allows the reader to search all endangered shark species, the severity of their endangerment, and the region or reason responsible for their rapid decrease,
“The “International Action Plan for Sharks” initiated by CITES and the FAO (Food and Agricultural Organization) have established that:
- more than 100 out of 400 shark species are being commercially exploited
- many of these shark species are so overexploited that even their long-term survival can no longer be guaranteed
- a serious monitoring and control program is lacking for international shark trade.”
I’m sure a lot of readers did not even know that there were 400 shark species, nonetheless that 100 different kinds of sharks were being killed everyday for the production a brothey soup. As they are hunted and killed, it is near impossible for these sharks to give birth to enough offspring to maintain a great enough number to regenerate the species because most do not live long enough to mate and give birth. Yes, that does mean that fisherman are not waiting until the sharks are fully grown to barbarically butcher them (which would be the most logical way to obtain the greatest amount of fin). Rather, humans are being their normal, selfish selves and demanding shark-fin-soup at such a consistent rate that young, and even baby sharks, are carved to bits.
Now I understand that there are a lot of people in this world who are thinking, “Why would I ever care about sharks? They can go extinct for all I care!” WRONG! I cannot put enough emphasis on this as I say it: IF PEOPLE CONTINUE TO MURDER SHARKS, THEY WILL GO EXTINCT AND SO WILL HUMANS!
I’m not saying that the last shark dies and immediately all humans keel over. But let’s consider what would happen if we really did cause the extinction of all sharks, or at least the major players in the ocean like the Great White shark.
1. Great Whites go extinct.
3. Fish populations rise.
4. The amount of smaller feeder fish decreases drastically.
5. The fish that eat plants slowly devour the entire ocean floor.
6. The earth’s massive source of oxygen is depleted, killing all living creatures in the ocean and all air breathing creatures like ourselves.
7. All species are extinct, including humans.
I realize that this would take hundreds of years to happen and seems a little drastic. But I failed to mention the immense amount of suffering that would occur all over the world as food resources decrease and the ocean’s entire ecosystem collapses. SharkFriends.com gives a quick and effective summary of shark finning in relevance to the survival of humans,
“Mankind cannot continue to abuse nature or nature will strike back… and with brutal fury! …mankind will become extinct next if sharks disappear. Without sharks the oceans will team with fish and other ocean animals that live off the plant life in the sea. When this plant matter disappears so will the vital oxygen that the ocean produces…then what happens? Think about it.”
Humans need to think about the consequences of their actions. The amount that the ocean is used for recreation greatly effects the number of shark attacks as I have talked about in previous posts because the more people in the ocean increases the likely hood of an attack. However, with no sharks in the water, the ocean would ironically lose its appeal – trillions of fish, few plants and beautiful reefs and patties to explore, less attraction for scuba diving and other water activities.
Moral of my (very preachy) story, if you kill sharks you will die, and until then, you will have no fun! There, obviously, is a reason that states and countries all over the world are fighting for my fishy friends by attempting (some successfully) to ban shark finning and the sale of shark-fin-soup. Consider this the only post I will ever publish as a direct plea to all of my readers. If I have not scared you into following my example through my declaration of certain death, I hope that knowing that amazingly beautiful species all over the world are dying for no justifiable reason will sway your decision to help. Great White sharks are on the red list of endangered species with less than 3,500 left in the ocean today. I am asking you from the depths of heart to help fight for those in the depths of the ocean. It is the least that you could do for your fintastic, favorite blogger ;)