Painful Images of Shark Trading in the Arabian Sea

Painful Images of Shark Trading in the Arabian Sea

As a resident of a coastal town, I can’t imagine what it would be like if this were happening here. This past summer a friend of mine took me fishing, not for nourishment but for the experience and I ended up catching a baby shark (don't worry, I threw him back in). The whole experience was pretty amazing. Then back in October I got scuba certified and got to “swim with the fishies.” So when I saw these images taken by Thomas P. Peschak for TIME Magazine of the shark trading business, I was shocked. Over 73 million sharks are killed every year for trading purposes resulting in around 50 different species added to the endangered species list. Not only are these fishermen killing sharks that are on the endangered species list, but their nets are trapping innocent sea life. If you’ve watched Whale Wars on the Discovery Channel then you know that yes, maybe a handful of ships get caught and shut down but the cycle continues because there is big money in the business. The same for the shark trade business. I won’t get into politics over this but it’s pretty sad to see.

Like I said, I had a great experience with these creatures (sharks are awesome) and these pictures really hit me hard. Let us know how these affect you in the comments below.

[Via TIME]

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Mr. Nuyoka's picture

Sy Starts the first response with "Please grow up! Before calling these people "retards"", "please keep your ridicule to yourself." 

Then proceeds to do just that.

"you worthless twit!"

"The only loser here is you ! "...Anyways Sharks, Tuna, Fishes of all kind, yummy!Whats next people against gold fish, who get flushed down the toilet perhaps by the millions a week???

Rebecca Britt's picture

For once Sy I actually agree with you.

Although, not exactly the manner I would put it, but nonetheless I get your point. 

Holy shit, not what I expected from staff.

Though, judging by the rest of the comments, it seems like almost anything goes...

Rebecca Britt's picture

Wasn't so much agreeing with his personal attack, but at his disgust at this comment.. --->"I'd personally abort 10 human fetuses just to save one shark."  

Not that anyone cares (or should care) on a photography site, but I am pro-life (personal choice and not so much political), so to me this comment is pretty disgusting. Now, I don't know how killing sharks has anything to do with abortion, but that comment was pretty absurd to begin with. 

Make it twenty.

The comments are keeping with the context of the photos displayed. Please focus....if pictures of an oil spill or unborn babies were displayed then people would have comments about that as well. Focus on subject at hand and less about your own personal agenda.

Grow up Ashley. This has nothing to do with 'pro-life'. It's about the unnecessary slaughter of the population of sharks in the ocean because consumers like the status of having it in a bowl of soup. If the numbers of shark killings continue in this manner then the ecosystem of the oceans will collapse. Humans are doing their best to destroy this planet.

If you want to push your 'pro-life' opinion then go and find the correct forum to do it.

Anthony Tripoli's picture

I don't think Lauren said anything about not liking babies in this post.
Maybe I am not picking up on the attitude you are saying is depicted by
posting this. I am also not certain why you decided to bring your
plight for unborn children to this discussion, seeing as this post has
nothing to do with that. Some people feel swayed one way, and some
another, and whatever that is, there is no reason to start throwing a
fit and saying "people with your attitude make me sick." You don't even
know what Lauren's attitude is. While you may have a point about abortion, did you really think that this was the right place to pull out your soap box? Maybe I am confused, but is raising awareness about atrocities uncalled for unless it meets your political agenda?

People who presume to know anything about someone they don't know, especially via the internet make ME sick. 

Angus's picture

Some species of sharks are now approaching near extinction levels.. Humans are not. Don't drag another debate into the current debate. 

Think about the kittens.

It is tough to look at for sure but unless people commenting are vegetarians it happens to a ton of animals and we still consume beef, chicken, shrimp and a ton of other stuff. I haven't eaten shark and I know I never will but I can't say this is bad and what not because I do eat other foods.

Mike Kelley's picture

The difference (IMO here) is that the slaughter of whales, sharks, and dolphins is pretty needless, as it's an extremely niche and luxury item. Chicken and beef are food staples and we're not upsetting entire oceanic ecosystems by eating them.

Additionally domesticated food - beef, chicken, lamb, and pork, are well controlled, "sustainable" populations. Cows are not endangered. Ranchers know that if they want to butcher 10 cows, they better have more than 10 else they will have no more cows next year. You can get a college degree in this kind of management. Sharks? (and big game fish - tuna, swordfish, grouper, etc) - we have no idea how many are out there, and how many we need to have a self-perpetuating, healthy ecosystem.

I won't even start of the pros/cons of fish farms, but at least the numbers of animals are a somewhat known factor. If you look at most of the sharks in those photos, they are open-ocean sharks. Four pictures have blue sharks and two pictures have hammerheads. These are live-bearing, long gestation, low reproductive rate animals that are in few numbers to begin with. There is not that much food out in the open ocean, unlike the coastal areas or coal reefs, so the animals are fewer and further between. This is less about eating meat vs plants, but rather wanton harvesting of a fragile ecosystem.

Needless, niche, luxury? Try telling that to the Inuit. Bowhead whales have been subsistence hunted for centuries... They can't really raise cows or chickens in 50 degree below weather.. The world is a lot more complex than one may think. Yes, I'm on your case, just very annoyed with your half-assed responses, Mike.

there in lies the shame of shark finning - fishing for a living or providing for your family is one thing, but to take the animal just for the fins to make (luxury soup) is what is so egregiously wrong with this particular fishing.

I absolutely agree about shark finning, I think it is a shame to kill a shark just for it's fin. 

Mike Kelley's picture

Quit being obtuse. Inuit have been subsistence hunting using small boats and hand-thrown harpoons and hand-reeled lines for centuries. Modern whaling and fishery fleets can catch in a day what the Inuit would catch in a year, and the purpose is entirely different. Luxury, status-symbol food for the elite is entirely different than a catch that will have every part of it used and stored for food over several months to feed a small village.

"The difference (IMO here) is that the slaughter of whales, sharks, and dolphins is pretty needless, as it's an extremely niche and luxury item." Your words. You contradict yourself. I am not obtuse, your comments sure are, though. Say what you mean and mean what you say.

No, the biggest problem is that a lot of sharks are caught because the fins are used in "traditional cures" (ie "medicine" that doesn't work). It's not just a luxury item for food consumption, but also a bullshit over-priced remedy in the alternative medicine market.

See also rhino horns.

The only place he contradicts himself is in your narrow-minded and overly-literal interpretation of his comment. 

Wow, Fanboys coming out! Please read his comments and my comments, narrow-mindedness is not something an intelligent person would accuse me of. 

Not a fanboy at all - I have no idea who Mike is.  And don't you worry - I read every comment, and made the choice to comment as I did. A spade is a spade, even when they're blind to it themselves.

Judging by your profile picture you are the buffoon, plain and simple.

Yes, "judging".  Which is all you can do when you've got nothing of any substance to say. Resorting to personal insults based on a visual of me (in a halloween costume, no less - how irrelevant to the conversation can you get?) is low-brow to say the least. Especially as you hide behind your invisible "Sy" cloak, unlinked to anywhere. Big man, you are. You're simply showing your narrow-mindedness, again. 

Corey Melton's picture

This happens with tuna, salmon, snapper, etc... but suddenly a larger fish is seen dead and it catches attention. Either I dont care at all about the death of animals, or I am the advocate for smaller less noticeable fish species. But this looks like people out fishing for a living to me. 

Mike Kelley's picture

Gestation periods, life spans, and population numbers are wildly different for whales and sharks than salmon and snapper, however, and that must be taken into account. It takes years to grow a whale or shark into an adult, which usually only raise one offspring per year, if that. Salmon on the other hand may only live for 2-5 years, can lay up to 5000 eggs at one time, and they do this multiple times throughout its life. So it's a matter of sustainability. We can also farm salmon - you can't really farm sharks. 

Then there is of course the matter of ethics - you can quickly kill a smaller fish before it even knows what is going on, but try to kill a shark quickly - it can't be done, sometimes they will struggle for hours.

So really there are a lot of differences between killing larger animals and smaller animals, and it's important to keep those differences in mind. 

Tuna is also way overfished, but that's another rant for another day. Look, you've got my inner hippie coming out. Good work haha.

Isn't it interesting how people relate more to bigger animals? Shark is a fish as much as others. We have a huge environmental problem related to fishing. Like most of biggest environmental issues it starts in our fridge, home or backyard. People in developed countries start the demand for fish, beef, oil, plastics, bottled water, "clean" gas etc.

what city/country are these images from? 

Jet Life's picture

i love sharks... doing this so someone can have soup is wrong!

Humans are assholes. We deserve the misery on this planet.

As a scuba diver this is terrible to look at, I love diving with sharks, specially in the Caribbean Sea. But we still have to understand the other side's point of view, this job might be the only job that they're qualified to do in order to feed their families.

these men aren't blessed with the luxury of life that we have. All I'm asking is to think about the two sides first before judging.