If you haven’t seen this amazing movie yet, do yourself a favour and watch it! Sharkwater is written and directed by Rob Stewart and it is a visually stunning documentary on the very real horrors of the global and ever more lucrative shark-finning industry as well as an exposé into the corruption and exploitation of sharks that takes place in various marine reserves in the world. Sharkwater details the journey of one charismatic man whose love and passion for sharks turns into a life-long quest to protect them.
Experts estimate that 38 millions sharks are killed annually for the sole purpose of their fins for shark-fin soup in Asian market. These fins are often cut off while the shark is still alive and the rest of the carcass is wasted and thrown back into the water. The demand for shark fins has increased dramatically in the past few decades due in large part to the increasing Asian middle classes. One pound of dried shark fin can sell for about $300, so the shark-finning industry is a multi-billion dollar one. Shark-finning is so difficult to control due to the lack of law enforcement in international waters and the very secretive nature that the industry is conducted in.
Shark-finning is for the most part unmonitored and unmanaged, and stands as the largest threat facing shark species worldwide. The devastation of the world’s shark populations isn’t just bad in and of itself but an immeasurable loss to marine ecosystems; by killing off the top predators of an ecosystem the repercussions resonate down all trophic levels of a food web with disastrous consequences. The stability of the entire marine ecosystem will be compromised if the largest group of top predators is removed. Can you imagine the impact such a situation would have globally?
Great white sharks are threatened by the long-lining techniques used to catch sharks for their fins. At African Shark Eco Charters we are an eco-friendly company and all of the employees think of our work not just as a job but as a passion. Please come join us on one of our shark trips in False Bay and see for yourself how spectacular sharks are. You can help get the word out about the importance of sharks. Everyone can be a conservationist! And remember… Sharks are friends, not food!!