That's exactly what fisherman do to sharks in the process of "finning." Finning involves slicing off a shark's fin--to use in a soup, of all things, because we all know that soup is important enough to condone amputating living creatures and using their appendages a nice, hot meal alongside a grilled cheese--and then tossing the finless shark back into the sea.
These fins are then used as an Asian delicacy, "shark fin soup," which sounds about as appetizing as monkey butt on a stick. The fin doesn't even have flavor on its own-it actually floats along in a bowl of chicken broth to make the soup look fancy. Chicken and shark-sounds like a Colonel Sanders special from hell.
That's like native tribes of the Americas capturing a buffalo, taking one leg or two to make a stew, and then letting the thing "go."
The soup is expensive, around $100 a bowl, and while sellers proclaim it to have huge health benefits, the reality is that by eating it, you could become a human thermometer from the high mercury levels.
Tens of millions of sharks are finned each year. These sharks die a slow, painful death-by either starving, being eaten by other fish, or even drowning because their gills can't extract oxygen without constant movement.
And here's an eye-opening statistic: while about ten people are killed by sharks every year, 3 sharks are killed every second by humans!
It's sick enough for most of us to squeal, "Ewww!" at, but what's worse is that it's actually pushing many different species of shark to extinction. Some species have even seen their numbers dwindle as much as 95%. Since sharks take a long time to reach maturity, repopulating themselves after such consumption is a hefty task.
Sharks are also some of the biggest predators in the sea, which means that when they die out, other ecosystems are thrown off balance as well.
If shark finning turns your stomach-and not just because you don't like the taste of fish-you can take action by signing this petition that calls for a ban of all shark finning. Stopsharkfinning.net offers a list of more actions you can take if you're interested.