The worst example of cruel fishing concerns sharks. Shark fin soup, greatly esteemed in certain parts of Asia, is now sadly also in fashion in some Western countries. Before ordering a bowl in some supposedly sophisticated restaurant, remember that it raises many ethical questions.
According to the international Shark Alliance coalition, the practice of “finning” is becoming very common to satisfy the demand for shark fins for soup: The sharks are hoisted aboard fishing boats, the prized fins are cut off and the rest of the shark is thrown back in the sea, often still alive. Even in Australia and other countries where finning is banned, the practice continues.
At the top of the food chain, this large predator plays a fundamental role in the equilibrium of the ecosystem in which it lives. If the number of sharks is greatly reduced, their prey will increase in numbers and put excessive pressure on the next level down in the food chain. This phenomenon is called a trophic cascade. Fishing sharks has serious repercussions on their numbers because they reproduce at a very slow rate, and unlike other fish, they produce very few eggs. They simply should not be caught!