You want the fins? Why not use the whole shark!


23-April-2009

In Seychelles shark finning is done mostly by long liners and reported on some purse seiners. Long liners target either shark or tuna; if sharks are caught then they are finned to save storage space on board the vessels for high-value species like tuna, swordfish and sailfish.

Purse seiners may catch sharks as bycatch and they are subsequently thrown overboard as they are not their target species.

Currently shark meat has a low market value, around R6-15/kg. The cost at Victoria fish market is R15/kg. However, the price of shark fin is around $50/kg, but this depends on which fin it is (eg dorsal, pelvic) and also on the size of the fin from different species of shark. Nevertheless, why use only the fins when you can use the whole shark to get money?
There are many ways that the shark carcases can be used. The shark jaw can be used as a decoration for the house, shark teeth and bone can be used to make bracelets and necklaces – not forgetting the famous shark chutney dish in Seychelles.

And in Asian countries shark supplements are even used to cure cancer.
So why not use the whole shark instead of only using the shark fin!

By Gina Dugasse and Odille Labiche

This article was written by Gina and Odille as part of an assignment for a unit in environmental education that they took at the NIE. In this compulsory unit, NIE students are required to research, plan and implement a service learning project to help solve an environmental problem. Students are encouraged to investigate interconnections between environmental, social and cultural problems as well as their solutions. Other student projects have focused on a wide variety of issues including recycling, overpackaging, loss of culture, home gardening, medicinal plants, health impacts of mobile phones, sustainable lifestyles, sexually transmitted infections, improving the NIE environment for students, overfishing, reusing clothing, painting murals etc.

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