SARASOTA, Fla. — New research from MOTE Marine and FIU scientists confirmed that sharks are in trouble.
A new study shows that more than 70 percent of the species that end up in the global shark fin trade are at risk of extinction.
Shark fin soup is a delicacy in Asian countries, costing as much as $100 a bowl, and the lack of regulations are causing sharks to be over-fished.
In their research, scientists sampled 10,000 trimmings from shark fins sold in Hong Kong. Using DNA to identify the species of origin, they determined that two-thirds of those sharks and rays are threatened with extinction.
Demian Chapman is the director of the sharks and rays conservation program at MOTE Marine in Sarasota and was one of the lead researchers on the fin trade study. He said sharks are a critical part of the ecosystem.
"They’ve been part of our ecosystem for hundreds of millions of years so an ocean without sharks and their relatives, is a sick ocean. It's something we don’t want to see," said Chapman.
Chapman said he's hopeful that this new research will encourage countries to work together to create better regulations to save the sharks.