Sharks have a vital place in the ecosystems of the world's oceans. Thanks to Hollywood and our own overactive imaginations, it's easy to cast them as the villainous, scary predators of the seas, but in reality sharks play a role so critical that without them, the health of the planet could be at risk.
When shark populations are dramatically reduced - as many scientists say is now occurring in large part due to the demand for their fins in shark-fin soup - other species are dramatically affected. When the top predator is removed, lower rungs of the ecosystem increase in population, which then puts excess demand on the next lower level, until even the smallest forms of life and the environment itself are affected.
When we see a dramatically negative effect from human causes that can be easily altered, do we step up and make it happen, or do we turn away and ignore it?
If we care about the health of the planet, the only answer can be to tackle the issue and do all we can to change the tide of events.
As cities around the globe stand up and make a statement against shark-finning - as Nanaimo has done and as Burnaby, Richmond and Vancouver are considering doing - it adds to the collective voice demanding change.
We hope these actions by local cities will lead people around the world to take a second look at the ultimate cost of shark-fin soup and make this "delicacy" a thing of the past.
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