Debbie Salamone is a shark attack survivor, so you would think that she would be the last person to dedicate her life to helping these feared creatures.
However, she and other shark attack victims have come out against shark fin soup, which is served as a delicacy, which some even believe has magical healing powers.
To make shark fin soup, the fin is literally cut from the shark, also known as 'shark finning.' Sharks without their fins are still alive, but are unable to swim normally, so they die of suffocation or are eaten by predators.
In an article for Discovery.com, Salamone says that she recently teamed up with other shark survivors, researchers from Stony Brook University and her co-workers at Pew Environment to test samples of shark fin soup in the U.S.
Salamone and her group found samples of fins from endangered species of sharks, including: scalloped hammerhead, smooth hammerhead, bull, school, spiny dogfish, copper sharks and, sometimes, no shark at all.
In her article for Discovery.com, Salamone writes
Up to 73 million are killed each year for their fins. As top predators, these animals keep the food chain balanced, yet we are risking the health of the ocean for bowls of soup.
The study will be featured in a new Shark Week show on Discovery, “Shark Fight,” airing Aug. 15 at 9 p.m. The program is about our group of survivors and the conservation work we do. We have been promoting measures to save sharks since 2009, when we decided to join forces.