Sharks deserve a fate better than soup
July 15th, 2013
11:45 AM ET
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Editor's note: Tara D. Sonenshine is the former under secretary of state for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. She received 10 News Emmy Awards in broadcast journalism. She is also the former vice president of United States Institute of Peace. Sonenshine served in various capacities at the White House during the Clinton administration.

As the summer ocean waves wash up onto America's beaches, we find ourselves thinking, nervously, about Steven Spielberg's "Jaws" and the paralyzing fear that sharks inspire in us. Yet, paradoxically, we celebrate global attempts to protect the declining number of sharks. The world has figured out we need these species, along with all creatures of the Earth, to maintain a delicately balanced ecosystem.

Sharks, in particular, are "in" these days. Thanks to good public policy and the power of public education and multimedia campaigns featuring stars such as Yao Ming, Jackie Chan and Ang Lee, killing sharks for shark fin soup is no longer cool.

The demand has been rising for decades, threatening sharks with extinction - up to 100 million sharks are killed each year just for their fins. But we have started to reverse the trend, particularly in affluent areas of the U.S. and overseas where restaurants once proudly displayed shark fin delicacies on the menu.

In California, and other states, a ban on the sale and possession of shark fin soup has gone into effect this year after aggressive marketing campaigns by WildAid and other organizations.

Read - How the world is saving the shark

Shark fin soup faces extinction in California
Shark fin soup to be banned at official banquets in China

soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Osvaldo Ono

    There are some attention-grabbing closing dates on this article but I don’t know if I see all of them middle to heart. There may be some validity but I will take maintain opinion till I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we wish more! Added to FeedBurner as effectively

    August 8, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
  2. RC

    Good grief! The rest of the animal offers so much more than fins for soup! One of the best tasting fish in the ocean. "finning" is one of the most wasteful and selfish practices I know of. Sad....

    July 15, 2013 at 7:52 pm |
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