It's one thing to talk about shark finning in the abstract. It's something entirely different to see and understand the impacts viscerally. The film Sharkwater brought the tragedy home. So, too, does Man & Shark-- a new book and accompanying short documentary about industrial-scale shark finning and its impacts around the globe.
It's impossible to look at their work without grasping instantly the enormity of the problem, and what's at stake.
Many of Alex's photos (like the one above) come from Kesen-Numa City in Japan -- a place where, as he describes it, you can "see what happens when modern manufacturing processes and shark finning collide."
(If you've seen the Academy Award-winning film The Cove, imagine the same sort of slaughter taking place not annually but systematically to feed a voracious market for shark fins.)
Fortunately, the issue's coming to the fore, through groups like WildAid and through the efforts of many ocean conservation groups, including the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
If you live in the United States, you can urge your Senators to support legislation that would close one final loophole so we'll better enforce the U.S. ban on shark finning. It takes just a second to act.
We can't have healthy oceans without protecting the top predators, who play such an essential role in preserving the balance and vitality of ecosystems. We can make a difference -- by caring, by learning, by standing up and speaking out.
Photo copyright by Alex Hofford; used with permission; www.manandshark.com