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Overfishing shark activities have inflicted so much pressure on the shark's ecosystem, that now the decreasing threshold is considered pretty narrow and the time to start a reverting change is ending up. Oceanic sharks and rays' colonies are experiencing a decline since 1970, with at least 70% of their population lost. In fact, the collapse could be even higher than recorded due to the missing database.
According to investigations, more than three-quarters of sea sharks are endangered. The most harmful shark specie has been the Blue Shark. As no other pelagic shark, it dominates the list of the most catches sharks (60% of them) and the fin trade list (over 40%). This last activity is especially hurtful for the sharks because their fins are removed and they are discarded in the ocean still alive, leaving them to die by suffocation or as food from other species.
Although their population has been considered one of the largest and most flexible sharks, their population has started to decrease due to the growing shark fin and meat trade. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has even classified this specie as ‘critically endangered.
It is crucial that governments may take the lead and implement actions to reduce the shark products demand, attacking their main drivers before it gets too late. The entire shark ecosystem is in jeopardy, including the food security of seafood-dependent communities.
According to a USA national quiz performed in 2016, 80% (8 in 10) of Americans support any possible national restriction on shark commercialization; even, an attempt to approve the U.S. Shark Fin Sales Elimination failed in 2019, presumably by the pressure of the industrialized shark fishers over some senators.
In other to protect the shark environment, the United States needs to be removed from the fin trade and the priorities put on the environment, instead of the purposes of a few shark fishers. The window to take further action is almost closed and an act is required urgently.
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