I am a runner and a diver, and am running in the NYC Marathon on Nov 3, 2013 as part of the team, Run for Sharks, to raise funding for Project AWARE, a very reputable foundation, who are fighting for the tightening and enforcement of shark finning bans.
Why do I care? I used to be terrified of sharks! Watching movies like "Jaws," my thinking was the more of these people-eating monsters we killed, the better. Actually, I learned to dive partially to overcome my fear of sharks. The more I saw sharks while diving (and by the way, the sharks wanted very little to do with us and would take off when we came around), the more I wanted to see more of these awesome creatures; however, I've been seeing less...and less... Shark populations have declined 90% in the past 30 years. Over 100 million per year are killed, and not for their meat - for their fins. The sharks are caught, their fins are cut off, and the finless sharks are thrown back in the water to slowly die.
Why? Their fins are used in an Asian delicacy - Shark Fin Soup. A symbol of wealth and respect in the Asian community, it is served at weddings, banquets, and business dinners, fetching as much as $200 a bowl. This has lead to sharks being killed in every country with a coastline. Keeping only the fins allows fishermen to kill many more sharks in a trip than if they brought back the entire animal, so it is a very profitable industry. And it is occurring with the world being almost completely aware....
Why should you care? This practice will lead to ecological collapse. Nature created them for a reason - they are essential for life in the seas - in the food chain, they are the top predator, progressively impacting species lower in the food chain, so that their influence is felt as far down as phytoplankton that provide 70% of the oxygen we breathe. If we kill the out, the entire marine ecosystem would be dectroyed. Sharks deserve protection - extinction means forever.
Please help me help Project AWARE fight for enforcement of shark finning bans by donating to my run. I have attached the website address of Dan Rather's investigative report on shark finning. If you are not convinced after watching it that saving the sharks is worthy of your hard-earned donation, I'll buy you a cup of soup (without the fin).
Thank you in advance,
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