Animal Rights

Half-Eaten Shark Washes Ashore In Florida

| by David Bonner

A half-eaten shark washed ashore Feb. 18 on New Smyrna Beach in Florida.

The scene was greeted with humor by many observers, reports the Daily Mail.

A lifeguard posted a photo of the shark on social media, accompanied by the caption: "Anyone up for a swim? LOL I guess there is something even bigger out there. #blacktip #whereiskatherine."

Katherine, notes local station WJXT, is a reference to a 14-foot great white shark that was spotted off the Florida coast in January. Another great white was seen about 20 miles off Ormond Beach, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

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The beached shark had been attacked by a larger fish, according to Beach Safety spokeswoman Tammy Morris, who identified the victim as either a blacktip or a spinner shark. She mentioned that she has seen partially-eaten sharks wash ashore before, but that it is a rare occurrence.

Although this shark was likely killed by another shark, an estimated 100 million sharks are killed each year by humans, reports The Guardian.

Of that number, approximately 73 million are killed for their fins, which is considered a delicacy in China and other parts of Asia. However, shark fin sales have fallen 50 to 70 percent, according to WildAid, an organization opposed to the sale of "wildlife products such as shark fin, elephant ivory and rhino horn."

Under the slogan, "When the buying stops, the killing can too," the group aims "to reduce global consumption of wildlife products by persuading consumers and strengthening enforcement."

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The decline has been the result of "a combination of factors," including a Chinese government ban on the shark fin trade, says WildAid Executive Director, Peter Knights.

“Hopefully sharks will become commercially extinct rather than actually extinct," he adds optimistically.

Sources: Daily Mail, The Guardian, WJXT, WildAid / Photo credit: Volusia County Beach Safety Ocean Rescue via Daily Mail

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