Midnight depression...

By 1:04 AM , ,

I don't have much to post on tonight per se. I went to the sulphur springs in Bylands (sp?) yesterday and I shall post about that later I guess. I'm too lazy to type up a proper post about it nor upload pics.

I realized tonight, once more, that I have a slight allergy to dogs. My neighbour has a gorgeous rott/german shepherd mix. It's still a puppy, but it's a huge dog. Every time I see him now I gasp and momentarily get scared as my visits are so sporadic and far apart that I worry that rottweilers have short memory. (I'm afraid of big dogs) And then... he gives me the puppy eyes and jumps on me playfully. Too adorable!!

And then he licks me and my hand starts to itch... and I remember my mild dog allergy. *sigh*


So this post is entitled 'Midnight depression' and that's because of what I'm about to type about. A few weeks back I first heard about shark finning, but... I never followed up enough to find a video on it. So here was I... minding my own business, perusing tumblr and what do I stumble upon?

Do pardon the language. I try to keep it pg on my blog where I can... but yea. So I watched the vid and it's pretty depressing. In some parts of the world *cough* China shark fin is a delicacy. The only part of the shark they use, however, is the fin. Initially it was a delicacy reserved for just the upper class but consumption now includes the middle class. Funnily enough,  finning is named as the primary contributing factor in the global decline of many shark species. (according to wikipedia that is) and sharks now represent the greatest percentage of threatened marine species on the IUCN Red List of threatened species (according to Oceana).

I know sharks aren't cute koala bears or sexy fierce tigers. They're over-sized fish marketed as fearful killers of the sea right? That's what the media and news tell us. Reality: Sharks kill an average of 10 people a year. And they don't go out looking for humans. I'm sure I've heard humans don't seem to taste very nice to them, we just get accidental bites for looking like something they normally eat at the wrong time and place. Ironically, we as humans kill about 100 million sharks a year... and it's going up because of this demand for the delicacy.

I got into a ridiculous argument tonight with a friend over this. He said, "But Shelli. It's just a fish. If we kill all the sharks then we have more fish in the sea!! It's those sharks that eating all the damn fish...!"

No... no... no... It's us humans with our take, take, take mentality. Mother nature always balances off. I can't think of any animal that kills wantonly. You can't just eliminate a top predator just like that either. Why would you? Think of all the repercussions.
When top predators like sharks disappear from their environments, ecosystems fall out of whack. Sharks help maintain the genetic health of the fish populations they feed on by eating the weak, sick and injured. They also keep their prey populations in balance. Off the North American West Coast, for example, as shark numbers have declined, the giant Humboldt squid has proliferated, moving from its traditional territory on the southern coast of the Americas as far north as Alaska. The squid, which can grow up to 6 ft. (1.8 m) long, have attacked divers in southern California, and commercial fishermen in Washington have reported them stealing salmon off their hooks. On the East Coast of the U.S., where large predatory sharks have also been overfished, cownose ray populations have exploded, taking a bite — literally — out of the bay scallop fishery. - Time Magazine
Sharks populations can't withstand commercial fishing the way more fecund marine species can. Unlike other fish harvested from the wild, sharks grow slowly. They don't reach sexual maturity until later in life — the female great white, for example, at 12 to 14 years — and when they do, they have comparatively few offspring at a time, unlike, say, big tunas, which release millions of eggs when they spawn. (Not that overfishing has left big tunas in much better shape than sharks, but that's another story.) As a result, the sharks that are netted are either adolescents that have not had a chance to reproduce or are among the few adults capable of adding new pups to the mix — and never will. "The shark stock on the Great Barrier Reef was hit hard when fishing started in earnest here 30 years ago, and it hasn't recovered at all," says Fitzpatrick [a marine biologist]. - Time Magazine
Here's a CNN article about this issue as well... Click here.

The video is below. Watch it and tell me if you don't feel just a tad bit upset. Not to say they took the shark back to be sold in the market self.. 

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