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Hunting Sharks for their Fins
October 25th, 2011
09:02 PM ET

Hunting Sharks for their Fins

Sharks have been swimming our oceans since the age of the dinosaurs. But these amazing animals are dying out and fast, due to the high demand for their fins.

In fact, the environmental organization Oceana says up to 73 million sharks are killed every year. Many people consider the practice of finning to be very barbaric.

Here's why:

Fishermen actually hack off the shark's fins and throw it back into the sea alive.  The shark then slowly starves to death, drowns or is eaten alive.

Environmental groups say poachers often enter protected areas to illegally slaughter sharks for their fins. One Costa Rican organization says enough is enough.

CNN Senior Latin American Affairs Editor Rafael Romo has the story.

It's hard to imagine enjoying shark fin soup after watching that graphic video, but there may be a cruelty-free alternative to the traditional Chinese delicacy. Here is CNN's Kristie Lu Stout with a Back|Story flashback from 2009.

Filed under: backstory • Uncategorized
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. bobby ezidi

    Apart from being barbaric,its wicked.. How can one hack of their fins and throw them bck in, hw will they survive.. Its totally unfair

    October 26, 2011 at 12:51 am | Report abuse |
    • mark

      To feed a chicken that consumed half pounds of grain per day, consume 365 pounds of grain for two year. I prefer to have 365 pounds of grains than a two years old chicken.
      A shark consumed quarter of a ton of fish per day (estimated), i.e. 90 ton of fish per year. I prefer to have 90 tons of fish than to save a shark.
      To save the envelopment please, please, please kill the sharks not for fins, just for the 90 tons of fish per sharks per years.

      January 9, 2012 at 3:42 am | Report abuse |
      • Nur

        Hi Dan! Nice to hear from you. I'm sure you had a wonderful time in Las Vegas. I'd like to visit there, too. I was there in 1948, I think, when reathr young I do remember it being very hot. We checked into a motel and a couple hours later my mother went out to the car for something, grabbed the steering wheel and suffered severe burns on her hand!I had to laugh when I saw this photo. When you wrote of a shark tank I thought immediately of Wall Street and someone floating down the middle of it! Now, that's dangerous if your just a poor commoner!

        July 24, 2012 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
        • Thomas

          Margot – Hej Jonas.Dina bilder irseinprar mig otroligt mycket just av den anledning att det ge5r rakt igenom hje4rtat. Det e4r fe5 fotografer som lyckas fe5 till bilder med samma ke4nsla, ne4rvaro och helhet som du fe5r. Jag fotar mycket sje4lv och liksom du ff6rsf6ker jag skapa mitt egna fotostil. Tack ff6r dessa fantastiska minuter.

          August 30, 2012 at 6:57 am | Report abuse |
          • Gourav

            – Det e4r med stort nf6je jag ff6ljer din blogg! Du e4r vanvettsduktig! Men i de he4r brf6llopsbilderna har du lykcats bre4cka dig sje4lv! De e4r helt OUTSTANDING! Du har fe5ngat ste4mningen se5 himla bra, jag fick te5rar i f6gonen sje4lv

            October 3, 2012 at 7:49 am | Report abuse |
          • Irsyad

            – Great work, it's like the best stuff about old school home moevis mixed with totally current beautiful videography.on a side note, I remember making a joke about Jonas and groupies in NYC I didn't realize it was true!! I caught that bit on the dance floor

            October 29, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • SuBin

      You forgot to metnoin that The Debt is a remake of a 2007 israeli movie named Hachov (=the debt), which also aired last year on the Sundance Channel.I hope they didn't change the ending, keeping it non-Hollywood. One more thing it's so stupid when a character in a movie speaks english with a "foreign" accent instead of speaking in the native language just like X-Men: First Class did. X-men did it great -the excellent movie had english, german, french, spanish and russian and it all sounded authentic and it was logical.

      August 30, 2012 at 6:39 am | Report abuse |
  2. Chris

    Today Toronto Canada banned the sale and possession of shark products. Hopefully Canada will federally ban all shark fin products. And the US to follow suit. Sharks are dying at an unsustainable rate, the oldest apex predator on our planet being annihilated over a bowl of soup. It is insane to even question the ban

    October 26, 2011 at 3:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Paco

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      June 16, 2012 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
  3. mike hawk

    bobby i believe that its a shark eat shark world, haha get it shark eat shark ;p lol but seriously it is messed up...

    October 26, 2011 at 4:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Bur

      The movie actually shows the shark at vnayirg sizes, GREATLY vnayirg sizes. In this scene it is about twice the size of a plane.. In another scene it is about a quarter of the length of the Golden Gate bridge, and can fit its entire mouth around it. That means that in the bridge scene, the shark would actually be about 300 metres long, whereas in this scene it is about 100 metres long (very roughly, but you get the point).

      July 26, 2012 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
      • Xolani

        As an avid angler and a meebmr of society, I would have never imagined that anyone would have to be told to not stand in their own bait water nor to strap their catch to their waist. As for the individuals in the float chairs, think about what is going on under the near surface of the water that your floating on. If your escorts are spear fishing in close proximity, you might consider spending the day with a brighter group. Both attacks appear to have been avoided and all that were involved are very fortunate that their lack of thought' did not lead to bigger headlines.

        August 28, 2012 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
      • Saveba

        Marley – Part of my morning ritnoue is to always check the blogs I love. Everyday when I click on your link I eagerly await some fabulous new post. This morning your pictures made me cry. What a wonderful job you have and what a wonderful person you must be to be able to capture these most precious moments. It most certainly was meant to be! Thank you for sharing 🙂

        September 30, 2012 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
  4. don isaac

    Its a
    heartless practice,come to think of u leaving a thing with life in agony,pain n a grudgy death

    October 26, 2011 at 6:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Sandeep

      Thank you so much for your comments and ieesrntt. We are passionate about what we do and appreciate all comments and suggestions. If you're in the area please give us a call.Captain Danny Howard

      March 24, 2012 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  5. Pauline Lazic

    Earth is the insane asylum for the universe !!!!!!!!

    October 27, 2011 at 5:15 am | Report abuse |
  6. Karen Magill

    Toronto has recently passed law banning Shark Fin Soup.

    October 27, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Karen Magill

      The vote passed 38 – 4.

      October 27, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
      • Taher

        Thank you for sharing. Not to many pelpoe in your position are so gracious. Your article was very poignant and understandable. It helped me to understand very clearly. Thank you for your help.My website is about

        July 24, 2012 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
        • Davon

          sophina – it's crazy to me that while scrolling thogruh these photos i felt as though i was right there along with them, completely immersed in such profound love, joy and magic of that day. no other wedding photo i've seen has EVER brought me to that place, so thank you so so much for sharing these with us! it's a testament to how extremely talented you are.

          October 1, 2012 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Vasile

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      August 30, 2012 at 4:44 am | Report abuse |
      • Yuhei

        – Dude. I found you after reading turghoh American Photo's top 10. This is stunning, truly inspirational imagery that makes me want to pick up my camera and try harder. Unbelievably mindblowing work my friend. Congrats on making the top 10 you definitely deserve every ounce of it.

        October 3, 2012 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
        • Lucas

          – I played Miya's song as I scrloled through these pictures and I felt completely transported. Your storytelling skills and artistry are so beautiful and unique to who you are Jonas. You really do have a gift.

          October 31, 2012 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
          • Kalissa

            Not a fancy place at all! There's this food court at Jurong Point Shopping Centre (Boon Lay interchange) near Golden Village camenis. It's a small shop towards the outer extremes of the food court. Is this a common menu item in restaurants here or hard to find?

            December 7, 2012 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
      • Logan

        – Great, love your work Jonas! The Tilt and Shift work is lovely! These wengidds are very stylised, they must be a joy to photograph! I shot a wedding in your native Sweden at Kalmar earlier this year, check it out 🙂

        October 29, 2012 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Sharkie

    If Costa Rican authorities and NGO don’t support the proposed measures intended to prohibit exportation of shark fins, which is where the big business stands, another 10 years of “campaigns” will be seen with no positive results.

    October 28, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Selkut

      The U.S. Navy found that the color most easily seen from the air for ftieralfs, was also the color most easily seen by sharks, so it got the nickname of Yum Yum Yellow . I think that is when ftieralfs started appearing in orange. So I would think a dark orange would be a good choice.Sharks in the surf are very rare. When near they are very visible from the air, and West Coast beaches get a lot of fly overs.

      March 26, 2012 at 2:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Tagoog

      RockTheOcean4meI saw one white shark in all my dives. It came from the back and it was a meter away orso, then out of sight it turned and came stargiht towards me and my buddy with that grin. Max 10 m before us it took a 90 degree turn and disappeared. That was uhm, impressive at the least.The shark was followed by a baby so she could have done more to protect her kid but she didn't. I rather be under water then on the surface. Forget the teeth, if this 5m shark hits me, all my bones are broken.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
      • Pragya

        tanke pe5 hf6ga krav se5 kan ni ju spana in vad jag anser som bra brf6llopsfotografi he4r. Jag vet att jag aldrig komemr att kunna fotografera se5de4r men det betyder inte att jag ne5gonsin

        October 3, 2012 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
  8. dzx-60065

    Every fisherman caught finning should be finned themselves. Arms and legs off with the knife they use on the shark. They should then be tossed in the water as chum.

    October 29, 2011 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
  9. steve

    Very cruel. An international law should be passed banning this cruel act.

    October 30, 2011 at 2:23 am | Report abuse |
  10. Shye

    Why just pick on sharks? And isn't fishing itself barbaric? Pulling hordes of fish from their natrural environment to die in the open air- suffocating them – no? Of course when we eat shark's fin a lot of sharks have to die – so also when we eat salmon or beef, a lot of salmon and cattle also will have to die – common sense isn't it? And the list goes on, chicken, sheep, pigs etc The solution to the shark problem should therefore lie in farming special sharks for their fins

    October 30, 2011 at 6:04 am | Report abuse |
  11. Hill

    This topic of cruelty to shark was discussed many years over and over again. Why? A real waste of time really. I take it as a racist remark towards the Asian, showing how cruel is the Asian catching and consuming it. If it is really so Bad, Why wasn't it Ban in many countries including USA (except for some state who ban it, good on them). The point is if you want to stop, you have to ban it. Don't keep talking. The shark will die by you just talk. I am very sure you still can have a Legal Shark fin soup in USA. The politician should take action. Anyway, I also I agreed with Shye comments.

    January 6, 2012 at 8:13 am | Report abuse |
  12. Hill

    I saw a Discovery channel – Mike Dirty Jobs biting off the lamb testicles. Isn't it cruelty? Ya the difference is the Lamb is still alive while the shark is dead. Try getting an animal to chew off yours and see if it is painful.

    January 6, 2012 at 8:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Mohamed

      Threadless got way too big, way too fast. Every high school kid out there is wreniag the same damn shirts every day. And that cloud vomit design was done before, only with a clown vomiting a rainbow. Not unique in the least. I'm old. Gimme, gimme, gimme.

      August 28, 2012 at 8:10 am | Report abuse |
  13. Susanne Biase

    Before leaving on your hunting trip, prepare yourself well. Never go to an unplanned location or take off on a spontaneous hunting trip. Let others know where you are planning to hunt and when you will be returning. If necessary, leave detailed directions to your hunting grounds with friends or family that will be staying home in case an emergency arises and they need to direct medical personnel to your location. Try to return home as close to your planned time as possible. If you are late checking in, your contact person can then know to set out using your directions to see if you need assistance. `':;

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    May 19, 2013 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |