"Whatever you do may seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it”

Environmentalism chapter 12 - Shark Fin


Sharks are one of a kind of Chondrichthyes that have swam the planets oceans for millions of years dating back to the prehistoric realms of the dinosaurs, living through the ice ages, colossal seismic activity that saw many millions of oceanic species wiped out. The shark though a silent stalker and predator remained unscathed.

They were not in any real danger to of traditional Chinese medicine demand or pollution and swam within the oceans with little if any predators, sadly this is hastily no longer factual and the entire species of sharks are being wiped out for a “soup” or medicine used frequently within the Asian medicine market just for tongue and texture.

The species of Shark are not mammalians they are classed as Chordates which is the only unique species of their type separating them from mammals, Chordate are deuterostome animals possessing a notochord, a hollow dorsal nerve cord, pharyngeal slits, an endostyle, and a post-anal tail for at least some period of their life cycles that then develop into the species of which the Deoxyribonucleic acid is programmed to make them into.

Being relatively blind they are agile swimmers yet superb deep sea divers that can smell through an array of senses a drop of blood in the ocean from half way around the world which scientifically is factual although they cannot exactly home in on this being some thousands of miles away there smell is unique from any other form of fish, human or other mammal predator.

The shark noses use ‘smell stereo’ to detect tiny delays no more than half a second long in the time that odours take’s to reach one nostril compared to the other one and that truly is amazing. All species including the deep sea sharks use a combination of directional cues based on scent and the flow of water - to keep them orientated and find what they are searching for.

So the theory that they are human eating man eaters which coincidentally is what the Asians believe hence why they like to consume as well parts the Panthera tigris as in their fake book of counterfeit medicine it states the shark “is a beast and man eater with much energy”  that should they consume the shark it will make them a fiery hunter in bed. Its utter nonsense, scientifically untrue, and fairy land tails.

If the delay between the scent reaching one nostril and the other is between a tenth and half a second, the sharks turn their heads to the side where they first smelled the bleeding or anxiously suffering prey such as the squid one of the sharks favorite foods.

If a shark experiences no delay in scent detection or a delay that lasts too long a full second or more they are just as likely to make a left-hand turn as they are to make a right, which makes them rather interesting and a species we must all PROTECT”.

The popular notion that sharks and other animals follow scent trails based on differences in the concentration of odour molecules hitting one nostril versus the other are based on 2010 scientific analyses. It seems that theory doesn’t hold water when one considers the physics of the problem.

Most creatures come equipped with two odour sensors - nostrils or antennae, for example - and it has long been believed that they compare the concentration at each sensor and then turn towards the side receiving the strongest signal.

‘But when odours are dispersed by flowing air or water, this dispersal is incredibly chaotic.’

This recent research on sharks predatory hunting behaviour living has led to findings that has also lead to underwater robots that are better equipped to find the source of chemical leaks, like the oil spill that plagued the Gulf Coast in 2010, 2012 has already seen this research placed to use in many “deep-sea” submersibles now actually using this research to develop state of the technological maritime breakthroughs that have seen many documentaries recorded and sea bed chemical leaks from pipes that are not that easily traceable by other older technologies that can break down at the blink of an eye lid.

Tiger Shark

Previous robotic submersibles were programmed to track odours by comparing odour concentrations, and they failed to function as well or as quickly as live animals.

The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and main oil slick was easily visible and the primary sources were easy to locate, smaller sources of Odour-guided robots are an asset for these types of situations with great thanks to the sharks.

The smell organs in the noses of some sharks are able to detect one droplet of blood in one million drops of sea water. They are often attracted to chemicals found in the guts of animals and loiter near sewage outlets so this great research has helped many in the maritime industrial.

Sharks have swam the oceans as far back as we can tell for about 400-500 million years of which there was an estimated 480 species that belong to the subclass of Elasmobranchii, which is in non-scientific jargon cartilaginous fish such as rays which makes them quite different from normal species of fish such are whales that are a sub class of Eutheria distinguished from noneutherians by various features of the feet, ankles, jaws and teeth.


One of the major differences between placental and nonplacental eutherians is that placentals lack epipubic bones although fish don’t have feet, some species that moved from land to waters thousands of years ago have then later evolved in to this “subclass” which the shark species are a subclass of their own from what we know of million year old fossil investigations through archaeology.

Most sharks such as the Carcharodon carcharias, Galeocerdo cuvier, to the Sphyrna lewini are classed as “apex hunters” which basically means they are at the top of the human food chain, they are feared by ourselves even though attacks are rare and just to give you an example of shark attacks verse the bathroom toilet.

Shark attacks for 2011 where 75 global shark attacks, a number closely matching the decade average and the number for 2012 was from what I located to be 62 although that is still to be confirmed surfers and others involved in board sports took the brunt of the attacks, accounting for 60 per cent of unprovoked shark attacks, swimmers 35 percent and divers about 5 per cent.

However the bathroom toilet is quite amusingly odd in 1945, the German submarine U-1206 was sunk after the toilet malfunctioned, and a crewman’s botched repair forced them to the surface killing all on board. King Wenceslaus III of Bohemia was murdered with a spear while sitting in the garderobe (toilet) on August 4, 1306. George II of Great Britain died on the toilet on October 25, 1760 from an aortic dissection. According to Horace Walpole’s memoirs, King George “rose as usual at six, and drank his chocolate for all his actions were invariably methodic. A quarter after seven he went into a little closet. His German valet de chambre in waiting heard a noise, and running in, found the King dead on the floor.” In falling he had cut his face.


Bathing and showering appear to be particularly dangerous. Overall, about two-thirds of accidental injuries happen in the bathtub or shower — which makes sense, because each can become slippery. But many injuries involve the toilet: standing up, sitting down, or using it. (Yes, about 9% of the total injuries were from overexertion.)

Still believe that shark attacks are common and they are “aggressive out of control people eaters” ridiculously untrue please read on. Overall, mishaps near the bathtub, shower, toilet and sink caused an estimated 234,094 nonfatal injuries in the U.S. in 2008 among people at least 15 years old, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention reported online in its weekly Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. And the injury rate rises with age.

Researchers used emergency room data on accidental, nonfatal injuries and some statistical number crunching to reach their conclusions.  Their report is full of statistics (which makes it good bathroom reading, if you have 15 minutes and an Internet connection) on the slips, sprains, contusions, fractures and concussions that can happen in the bathroom, to even death.

  1. About 81% of the injuries were caused by falls (from the bathroom toilet)
  2. Women were more likely to be hurt than men
  3. Two-thirds of all injuries occurred in the tub or shower, though only 2.2% occurred while getting into the shower or tub
  4. Overall, only 1% of accidental nonfatal injuries occurred in the bathroom, but for those 65 and older, 2.5% occurred in the bathroom.

The report can be located here http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6022a1.htm?s_cid=mm6022a1_w how prevailing and odd but very true, so the next time someone states to you that sharks are people eaters and aggressive please remember when you go to the bathroom that your actually “risking your life” Shark attacks though are very unheard of however the reason why they are classed as man eating killing machines is because the press adore to give them a rather bad name.

Such as “GREAT WHITE TORE MAN’S LEG OF” I suppose the headlines “MAN FELL FROM TOILET SEAT AND DIED” just don’t make GREAT reading which is why the press love to make such a mountain out of a molehill over something that could actually be a probing nip which is what a shark will do before “any such attack” takes place. http://mauinow.com/2011/06/07/study-details-hunting-behavior-of-tiger-sharks/ 

http://www.livescience.com/12783-shark-attacks-hit-10-year-high.html shark attacks on humans only hit a ten year high from recent accident and emergency reports gained from”2011” from all global hospitals. Extraction from the report states;

“Scientists investigated 115 alleged incidents of struggles between humans and sharks worldwide in 2010. They confirmed that 79 of these were unprovoked shark attacks on live humans”.

“Unprovoked attacks are ones that occurred with the predators in their natural habitats without human instigation. The other 36 incidents included 22 provoked attacks — such as assaults after divers grabbed sharks — including three cases of sharks biting boats, four incidents dismissed as non-shark attacks, five scavenging incidents of human corpses and two cases where there was not enough information to determine if an unprovoked shark attack had occurred”. Please read the report as it gives scientific reasoning as to why they have attacked more within the 365 day period. http://dsc.discovery.com/sharks/why-do-sharks-attack.html

What does all this have to do with sharks and the species under threat though? Good question as most of this does as of lack of awareness, the fright factor, and then of course traditional Chinese medicine the NUMBER ONE REASON.

There are MORE attacks on sharks than there are on any other species of fish, and now we need to start taking note of this as we are losing these amazing species rapidly due to counterfeit Asian pharmaceuticals and the disgustingly tasting shark fin soup.

I have always been a firm lover of wild and “predatory dangerous” animals such as mammals from the big lion to Tiger’s, reptilians from Python to Crocodile, and marine aquatic species mainly the shark. In 2010 I traveled to Shenzhena bustling rather smog filled sky scraped city  that had many restaurants and street quick food fixes mainly selling animal parts to eat of which shark fin was on the menu.


Thousands of Sharks lay dead in a Singapore fishmongers. Within central China it is said by many, and even activists that the sharks are only craved for, for their fins. This is untrue and this picture was taken three days ago in Singapore’s market. The market sells the shark meat and the fins for major profit making Singapore one of the richest Asian islands in the world.

Being a firm lover of sharks and great studier of the species I wanted to see what all the fuss was about and why sharks where being wrenched out of the water like candy from a baby then de-finned and thrown back to the seabed from which they died a slow agonising death from asphyxiation. Being a vegan for thirty years I really couldn’t care at that point as the main objectives was to try this dish to see if this was indeed a great reason why it is used in Asian medicine, to try and ascertain why one of my favorite species of animals was being slaughtered,

The soup smelt repulsively strong and acidic, and when tasting it without almost vomiting, one can only explain that even with a sprinkle of chive that entire first spoon and that being the last, tasted revolting, and more like hot water with the odd lump of shredded fish cuisine within. Oh yes I forgot the tender informed me that it would make me fit and strong even though I already was in 2010 being a healthy vegan for over 30 years.

shark fin soup



The soup did nothing, and there was no magical dragon like hallucinogenic that gave me the power of a thousand men. “Shark fin soup does not under any circumstances improve erectile dysfunction (not that I tried), enhance muscle power, to even warding of any diseases/illness that I actually picked up from visiting the shite hole city of smog and environmental pollution, it does nothing and has no proven health qualities at all. The one spoon fall of fowl tasting crap was enough to show to me that one of the most majestic creatures on earth was being slain for “monetary gain” and not any magical belief. Utterly unbelievable.

Chinese Shark Fin soup is a “luxury” food served (mainly) at banquets, weddings, parties and cultural masses, however it’s killing the species of and rapidly. The Chinese claim “The shark fins provide texture while the taste comes from the other soup ingredients. The soup originated centuries ago during the Ming Dynasty.

However demand for the soup has increased as income levels of Chinese communities worldwide have risen. International concerns over the sustainability and welfare of sharks have impacted consumption and availability of the soup. So because the Asian consumers require “texture” to their soup then sharks have to be slaughtered in their thousands. There is such thing as we croutons or (toasted bread) that add more texture to this pile of watered down crap which contains one of my favorite animals.

It is estimated that 100 to 200 million sharks annually are killed for their fins alone that’s seen many species now pushed to the brink of extinction and just to give an insight of how bad a problem this is please view the link http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/01/04/hong-kong-traders-dry-thousands-shark-fins-on-roofs-to-avoid-scrutiny/

Sharks that are caught and their fins cut off are not always dead when their bodies are thrown back into the sea. Without its fins the shark simply sinks to the bottom of the ocean where it dies. Such a horrible death for such a magnificent creature and diet, the whole entire practice is unethical, environmentally damaging and will cause havoc in the biodiversity predatory hunting circle if we lose our species of sharks.

Shark fins, once they are harvested, are then dried to be sold in markets to individuals and restaurants to be made into shark fin soup and sold to the public (especially tourists) for as much as $350 per bowl! The shark fins don’t even add any flavor to the soup. Chicken or pork are used to flavor, the fins are for texture only.

The shark fin soup industry uses a wide variety of relatively large sharks. The majority of these sharks are now under threat. They are slow to mature and breed sharks give birth to a few live young or lay a small number of large eggs depending on species, rather than produce thousands of eggs at a time in the manner of many bony fish. Large sharks also do not mature until they are several years old. These characteristics mean that shark populations cannot support high levels of exploitation = nearing extinction to species vaporisation for a bowl of lousy fowl tasting soup.

Mackerel Sharks

The order Lamniformes includes some of the best-known and biggest sharks. Among them are the great white shark, the basking shark and the thresher sharks. All these species are targeted for their fins, and all are either endangered or vulnerable. The great white shark, for example, might be the most feared species of shark, especially after starring in the ’70s thriller “Jaws.” However, they are more threatened by humans than humans are by them.

Ground Sharks

Carcharhiniformes is another order boasting well-known sharks, such as the bizarre looking hammerheads, whose fins command high prices. The order also includes the family of requiem sharks. These are sharks are your typical sharks, with streamlined bodies and sharp teeth. Tiger sharks, bull sharks and the spinner sharks, which jump out of the water, are all requiem sharks, and they are all taken for their fins.


The order Squaliformes includes all the sharks known as dogfish, the bramble sharks and the rough sharks. They are generally small, benthic, seabed-dwelling sharks that lay eggs and reproduce relatively quickly. Their fins are not of much value, although these animals are often targeted for their meat. The tails of some species of dogfish are used for cheap versions of shark fin soup.

Of the five remaining orders of sharks, carpet sharks, bullhead sharks, angel sharks, frilled sharks and saw sharks, few species are used for shark fin soup. They are mostly small sharks, with small or undesirable fins, and they are not valuable in the shark fin market. Some species, notably the critically endangered angel sharks and the whale shark — a species of carpet shark and the largest fish in the world — are targeted for their meat or oil, but not the fins.

If we don’t take urgent notice now and demand that CITES Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora take more action and demand that law enforcement cease this repulsive and degrading trade then we will see an ocean without any sharks that will unfortunately create a massive aquatic biodiversity nightmare in the aquatic hunting food chain.

Sharks eat many prey, these prey need to be naturally controlled to preserve OTHER species of smaller aquatic marine fish, and should the shark numbers carry on dwindling at massive proportions then we are heading for a global catastrophe.






Mackerel Shark

Ground Shark

Dog fish

Bullhead shark

Angel Sharks

Frilled Sharks

Lemon Sharks

Saw Sharks

Hammer Head Shark

Reef Shark



CITES Secretariat

International Environment House

11 Chemin des Anémones

CH-1219 Châtelaine, Geneva


Tel: +41-(0)22-917-81-39/40

Fax: +41-(0)22-797-34-17

Email: info@cites.org (email them hard to get a response)

CONTACT IUCN (International Union for Conservation Nature)

IUCN Conservation Centre

Rue Mauverney 28

1196, Gland, Switzerland

Opening hours: 8:00 to 17:30 Monday to Friday (except Swiss public holidays).

Phone: +41 (22) 999-0000

Fax: +41 (22) 999-0002

Dr J C Dimetri V.M.D, B.E.S, Ma, PhD , MEnvSc

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11 months ago CNN stated that China was going to ban SHARK FINS - What China meant was (they where going to hide them from activists which is a common lie from Asia) video taken over three ago.. How coincidental.

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