The majority of sharks are not caught for their meat, but rather for their valuable fins, which can fetch more than $400 per pound. Shark meat, on the other hand, is worth only a few dollars per pound and often not worth keeping , resulting in the wasteful practice of shark finning.
Because sharks are very large and most fishing fleets do not have the space or freezers to handle the entire animal, and want only the most profitable “catch” , many sharks are finned, and their bodies are thrown back into the sea.
Shark finning occurs at sea, and most of the oceans are unprotected, or are governed by laws that are hard to enforce. With a lack of enforcement finning continues illegally and is often associated with organized crime. High market demand and fin prices drive the trade and shark finning occurs almost everywhere there are sharks., Many shark species are now endangered and at a very high risk of extinction.
Public pressure has resulted in a ban of shark finning in many countries around the world. But to be more effective, a ban on the trade of fins is necessary.