sand tiger shark Sharks On Coast Hunted For Soup

Tiger shark - Credit: Richard Ling

Hunters taking advantage of a Japanese delicacy are thought to be the reason that shark stocks have drastically declined off the Gold Coast beaches.

Some astounding numbers revealed yesterday that shark nets had reeled in forty less sharks in the past year, compared to the same time frame in 2001/02.

Trevor Long, director of marine sciences for Sea World, revealed last night that over fishing by thriteen commercial shark hunters in the area had led to the steep decline in the shark population.

It is common knowledge that hunters have been reeling in sharks to harvest their valuable shark fins, which are part of the “shark fin soup” craze sweeping Japan.

In the 2001-02 fiscal year, seventy-eight sharks were reeled in in nets off the Coast, however by 2009-10 that number had dropped to thirty-seven.

This year, between the months of January and September, twenty-five sharks have been reeled in in shark nets and drumlines.

The largest shark reeled in was an impressive three-point-nine meter male greater hammerhead and ten were over two meters long.

Mr Long has commented that the shark populations declining was not the world’s best thing for the health of the world’s oceans.

“If we didn’t have sharks the whole marine ecosystem would become unbalanced – they are the top of the food chain and ensure the survival of the fittest,” Mr Long explained.
“It’s a worrying trend that shark numbers all over the world are dropping.”

The big question is, is it worth making an entire species extinct to get a bowl full of an exotic soup? Some say yes, others say no, however the general consensus is that we should take the poor shark off our dinner menus, before it’s too late.