Target: President of India, Pranab Mukherjee
Goal: Applaud the decision to make shark finning illegal in India
Recently, the government of India announced that the country has decided to ban the cruel practice of “shark finning.” Shark finning involves removing the fin of a captured shark, and then tossing the body of the still-live shark back into the water where it typically dies a slow, painful death due to the fact that it has lost tremendous amounts of blood and is unable to swim. The prevalence of this practice is largely due to the popularity of shark fin soup throughout Asia. The dish, which is considered by many to be a delicacy, drives fisherman to harvest shark fins and sell them at a very high price. In 2012 alone, Indian fisherman exported nearly 5 million dollars worth in shark fins to China.
India’s plan to ban shark finning comes amongst heavy pressure from organizations such as Humane Society International/India and the Deep Sea Going Artisanal Fisherman, one of the country’s largest fishing communities. These and other groups have stated concerns regarding the preservation of shark species in one of the world’s most heavily fished areas. After Indonesia, India currently ranks as the world’s second largest shark-catching country. Despite the fact that the majority of these sharks are caught and sold for their meat, many are also captured solely for the value of their fins.
In order to ensure that shark finning does not take place, India announced that it would instate a “fins naturally attached” system, in which, much like the name implies, any captured shark being sold or exported must have its fin still attached. Fishermen attempting to sell detached fins could be subject to up to seven years in prison, regardless of whether or not the detached fin belonged to a protected shark.
Commend India for taking this progressive step toward ending shark finning. By doing so, the country has chosen to not only stop this cruel practice, but also to set a precedent for other nations in regards to humane, sustainable fishing.
Dear President Pranab Mukherjee,
Recently, India announced its decision to end the cruel practice of shark finning. This wasteful custom involves the capture of sharks simply for their fins, which are removed and then sold for use in shark fin soup and other “delicacies.” The shark, which is still alive after its fin is cut off, is often thrown back into the ocean where, bleeding and unable to swim, it slowly dies.
Shark finning is incredibly barbaric and entirely unnecessary, but despite this, it has continued due to desire for monetary gain. As one of the leading fishing nations in the world, India has greatly contributed to this practice in the past.
However, the new ban on shark finning will help to ensure that this no longer takes place. By instating the “fins naturally attached” policy, you will help to ensure that fishermen no longer catch sharks solely for their fins. In this way, you will help to preserve many endangered shark species, and will help put an end to the cruelties of shark finning.
Thank you for instating a ban on shark finning in India. By doing so, you have taken a progressive step forward that not only protects these innocent creatures, but also sets an example for other countries to follow.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Albert Kok via Wikimedia