The captain of the dive boat I was in Fiji recently told me that there is a Taiwanese fishing fleet based out of Suva Fiji that Catches anywhere from 2-8 tons of shark fin each time they go to sea. These boats do not harvest the entire shark, just the fins. The bodies are simply thrown overboard. The shark fins however are more valuable than gold. Thus the motivation to kill the sharks. This is a great waste of meat. In this day and age of global hunger wasting a resource like shark meet should be a criminal offense.
What fisherman do not care about or understand is that for millions of years, sharks have been the barometer of a healthy reef. Where sharks are present the food chain is intact and their is balance in the marine eco-system. Where there are no sharks there will be no fish, the reef will be out of balance.
While I do not eat shark fin soup, I understand that the desire for shark fin soup is entrenched in certain Asian cultures. In order to shape social awareness it will take a decade or two. We can educate the young and as they grow change will take place and demand for products like shark fin soup will diminish.
In the mean time we can put forth efforts to ensure that the fisherman that profit from finning sharks have to harvest the entire animal. This will will affect their bottom line because shark meat is sold for pennies a pound but shark fins are sold for a fortune. Fishing boats with small holds will not be able to bring 8 tons of shark fin because they will need to bring in the entire carcass. This will no doubt cause the price of shark fin soup to increase and the supply of shark fins to decrease.
food for thought……..