A Man Makes A Macabre Discovery On The Roof Of A Building

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Gary Stokes, director of the Southeast Asian branch of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, has live in Hong Kong  for 26 years. He fights in particular against the trafficking of shark fins, something particularly popular in Asian cuisine, reports The Dodo.

 

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Source: Gary Stokes

 

The fins are taken from live sharks, who are then thrown back into the sea to agonize in atrocious suffering. Joanna Grossman, counselor for the Animal Welfare Institute, explained:

 

The animals eventually bleed out and succumb to their injuries, or die from starvation, suffocation, or predation. It's difficult to say exactly how long a shark will remain alive after being finned. For some animals, a slow and painful death awaits while struggling to breathe at the bottom of the ocean; others might be attacked and eaten fairly quickly after being tossed overboard.

 

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Source: Gary Stokes

 

The Chinese, particularly big fans of shark fin, consider it to have therapeutic value, without any scientific backing. The industry has a lot of weight and high economic stakes. A bowl of shark fin soup can cost up to 100 dollars.

 

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Source: Gary Stokes

 

Gary Stokes also confided:

 

In the last three weeks alone I've seen three 45-foot containers full of shark fins. One from Indonesia; the other two were both from the United Arab Emirates. When we look at 45-foot containers, we're talking millions of sharks.

 

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Source: Gary Stokes

 

73 million sharks are killed every year, and the populations are declining. The animals don't reproduce quickly enough to counterbalance the massacre that they have been facing.

 

Most of the animals enter China through Hong Kong, explained Gary. He made a sobering discovery on the roof of a building, where he found more than 100,000 shark fins stored in broad daylight. Gary specified however that China isn't the only one responsible:

 

If a country has an ocean, it will most likely be contributing to the shark fin trade.

 

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Source: Gary Stokes

 

Europe represents 15% of fin exportation to China, but it's impossible to know if the fin was taken from an animal who is alive or dead, which makes regulations difficult. Especially since sharks aren't classified as a threatened species and therefore don't benefit from those protections: only the sale of shark meat is regulated, so it is not illegal to hunt the animals. However, certain species of shark like the hammerhead shark and white head shark are more and more vulnerable.

 

ailerons-requin-hong-kong-6Source: Gary Stokes

 

Gary Stokes isn't losing hope though. The consumption of shark fin soup is declining, and more young people are straying from it little by little.

 

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Source: Gary Stokes

 

You can make your voice hear by signing this petition or by making a donation to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, which is actively fighting for the protection of ocean fauna and flora.

 

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Source: Gary Stokes

 

H/t: The Dodo

 

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