Shark finning takes place out at sea so the fisherman only have the fins to transport back to shore, since the rest of the body is deemed almost worthless. On top of this, all sharks, regardless of their species, age, or size, are being preyed upon by humans. This can cause issues as many of these species of sharks are not able to reproduce at a rate to combat their depletion. Shark finning is widespread and not usually monitored. It is a major delicacy in Asian regions, as shark fin soup holds cultural value. In an effort to curb the market for shark fin, the Chinese government began banning the serving of shark fin soup at official banquets in 2012. These efforts are only going so far, as it is seemingly hard to put an end to a practice that holds so much culture.
Each year, humans kills an estimated 100 million sharks. This number can have devastating effects on the ecosystem. For example, the loss of the smooth hammerhead shark caused their prey, rays, to increase in population size. Rays now eat more scallops, clams, and other bivalves. Therefore, we are seeing a decrease in our bivalves, which have the ability to filter liters of ocean water each day. It is necessary in this sense, that we maintain our shark populations in order to maintain the integrity of our ecosystems.
In an effort to save our depleting shark populations, we can raise awareness about shark finning by educating people. Some people even admit that they never realized what impact their consumption had on the environment. Current progress has been made, such as the 2010 shark conservation act. This act states that all sharks caught in U.S waters must be brought to shore with fins still attached. Although some progress has been made in protecting depleting shark populations, more needs to be done to ensure the protection of these magnificent and important animals.