Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Divers Use Social Media to Stop Shark Finning

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Inspired by a love of the ocean and an appreciation for sharks, tech savvy divers everywhere are changing their Facebook profile pictures to raise awareness for the protection of sharks. Taking the form of a traditional paper cut with a Chinese New Year message asking people to commemorate the annual celebration without shark fin soup, the profile graphic is a web 2.0 display of solidarity. Facebook users around the world — from Singapore to the Bahamas — are joining the campaign initiated by Project:FIN and dive forum ScubaSG.com that was designed to encourage shark conservation.

As apex predators, sharks occupy the top of the marine food chain and are critical to the health of the entire ocean ecosystem. Unfortunately, shark populations globally are experiencing a dramatic decline; some species have declined as much as 90 percent.  Sharks are most threatened by the recent explosion of shark finning to supply fins for shark fin soup.  The International Union for the Conservation of Nature defines shark finning as “the removal and retention of shark fins and the discard at sea of the rest of the carcass.”[1]  Without regulation, the near valueless carcass of the shark is thrown overboard, only utilizing about 2-5% of each shark’s biomass.

Although shark fin soup originated in China hundreds of years ago, it has only been commercially popular for the last 30 years. During this short window of recent time, the consumption of shark fin soup has ignited a steep decline in the worldwide numbers of sharks.

Within 3 days of its launch last week, word for the campaign spread to an international level. More than 20 NGO’s from Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Thailand, Africa, the US and Europe have joined the campaign, turning the local campaign into a global movement for sharks. Producing very few young, sharks do not become sexually mature until much later in their lives which makes over-fishing, in particular, a tremendous danger.

Join DeeperBlue in support of sharks and change your Facebook profile with the image attached below.

 

 Protect Sharks

[1] IUCN Shark Specialist Group Finning Statement, http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/organizations/ssg/ssgfinstatementfinal2june.pdf

Divers Use Social Media to Stop Shark Finning 3
Francesca Koehttps://www.deeperblue.com/
An active ocean advocate, VP of U.S. Freediving, a multi-agency dive instructor, PFI Safety Supervisor and AIDA judge, Francesca also serves as the Editor-At-Large here at DeeperBlue.com. You can usually find Francesca diving in the kelp, hanging out at the Farallones with sharky friends, or trying to improve upon her own PB's.

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