Wednesday, June 10, 2009


I watched the documentary Sharkwater last night. There's some beautiful underwater photography. But it's also depressing.

We (people) have killed about 90% of the sharks so far. About the same as we've done to most large fish. The difference is that we don't eat the sharks like we did the fish, we just cut off their fins for shark fin soup and discard the rest.

Shark fins don't even have much flavor (they're just cartilage). But people, mostly the Chinese, will pay large amounts of money for it. And because there is so much money involved (literally billions of dollars) governments don't stop it. Even where it's illegal like in Galapagos, the government turns a blind eye.

Of course, it doesn't help that sharks are commonly portrayed and thought of as monsters. So people aren't as concerned about them being wiped out as they are about cuddly panda bears.

Part of the film is with Paul Watson of Sea Shepherd. He was one of the founders of Greenpeace but left to form Sea Shepherd because Greenpeace wasn't radical enough. (my oversimplification) I have a lot of admiration for people who don't just talk and inform, but actually take direct action.

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