Producer, Something Kreative Studios

The Inertia

Humans today suck. We basically destroy everything in our path, including ourselves. Power hungry dictators like Hitler, Stalin, and Mao had insane ideals and legions of ignorant followers that led to estimated death tolls reaching around 90 million collectively, which is shocking and terrible to even think about when you consider the mass scale. We widely condemn these dictators as evil, yet today the human race is committing a shark genocide that is widely unnoticed, or cared about. And you may not be killing the shark yourself, but you may be eating it in a soup or as sushi, consuming it in ineffective pill form or supporting places do sell it.

All of this begs an important question, is a human life worth more than a shark life?  Scientists tell us that sharks have been on earth longer than humans have. And yeah, we aren’t at war against sharks, officially, but the results are just as bad- and the consequences affect us all. For every human bitten by a shark there are 10 million sharks killed, with an estimated 100 million sharks killed per year. So basically in one year we kill more sharks than the 3 worst dictators in human history did in their entire lifetimes.

Mainly, sharks are killed for their fins for the traditional Asian delicacy “shark fin soup.” With the boom of the Chinese middle/upper class, came the boom for demand for shark fin soup. And who do you think is the second largest consumer of shark fin soup?  You got it: Americans. Sharks are often hunted for their fins, their bodies are brutally thrown back into the ocean once the fins have been removed to die a slow death at the bottom of the sea.  But soup isn’t entirely to blame. Huge commercial fishing operations with trawler nets and long line hooks often catch and kill sharks accidentally. Also, people still find it entertaining to hunt shark for sport, and after a photo-op the shark is usually thrown back into the ocean dead, or dies later of exhaustion and trauma. But sharks are scary so who cares, right?

Well, it’s actually far WORSE for us to kill sharks than it is each other. If sharks die, ALL humans on earth die. That’s how it works with apex predators when they are taken out of the ecosystem — just like we learned in fourth grade on our trip to the aquarium. To further explain the importance of sharks, here are a few quick shark facts:

71% of the Earth’s surface is covered in water, with sharks existing over 400 million years so far

The oceans provide 1/3 of our world with food, produce more oxygen than all the rainforests combined, remove half of the atmosphere’s manmade carbon dioxide (greenhouse gas), and control our planet’s temperature and weather – and sharks a critical component of that ecosystem.

Many sharks take up to fifteen years to reach maturity and then produce only one shark pup per year. Such a fragile and slow reproduction rate means that their populations may never recover from the damage we have already inflicted.

Already 18 species of sharks have been listed as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), with 20-30 percent of all sharks facing extinction.

Statistically you are more likely to be killed by a coconut, a bee sting, a cow, your dog and even peanut butter than you are a shark.

So what can we do to help? Spreading awareness is the first step. Ocean minded celebrities like Jorja Fox, Dean Cain, Kelly Hu, Clifton Collins Jr., and Shiloh Fernandez recorded this PSA for shark conservation awareness for the film Extinction Soup. You can also help by urging others to stop buying/consuming shark products, not support restaurants that sell shark fin soup, and help spread the awareness.

Photo: Courtesy of Geoff Clark

Photo: Courtesy of Geoff Clark

Watch the PSA below, tell a friend to #savesharks, and see the film on iTunes today.


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