Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Waiter, There's Extinction in My Soup

The Orlando Sentinel just published a story about a soon-to-be-released report from the Pew Environment Group and Shark Attack Survivors for Shark Conservation that looks at what species of shark are present in shark fin soup in the United States.
Imagine a bowl of steaming soup with succulent morsels severed from the tail of a cruelly slaughtered manatee.

It sounds awful but isn't far-fetched. Sharks are served in restaurants around the world in fin soup, even though about one-third of the 450 species are threatened with extinction. And there's no way for diners to know the type of shark they are consuming.

To find that out, shark-attack survivors associated with the Pew Environment Group, working with the Discovery Channel and researchers from Stony Brook University in New York, collected samples from restaurants nationwide as part of the largest survey of its kind.

Results of DNA analysis released Wednesday confirmed the researchers' fears: Many of the sharks detected in the soup samples are in trouble in the wild and, even if they get beefed-up protections soon, some may not recover for years, if ever, because they reproduce so slowly.
You can learn more about Shark Attack Survivors for Shark Conservation and their work with the Pew Environment Group during Shark Week, which starts on Sunday.  The Discovery Channel will premier Shark Fight, which features stories of several shark attack survivors on Wednesday, August 15 at 9:00 PM (Shark Defenders has photos from the sneak preview in Washington, DC last week).
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