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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.

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