From the Radio 4 Costing The Earth program notes …………
Ever since the film ‘Jaws’ hit the big screen, sharks have been portrayed as aggressive, indiscriminate killers. But in reality there are only a handful of deaths as a result of shark attacks each year, whilst around 70 million sharks are killed by humans, pushing many species to the brink of extinction.
There are over 30 species of shark living in UK waters, but many are under threat.
From the small, lesser known ‘smooth-hounds’ that are a couple of feet long, up to the larger species (blues and basking sharks are both regular visitors to our shores), they all face the pressure of being caught as by-catch. A legal loophole also means many sharks are at risk from having their fins sliced off to feed the demand for the delicacy ‘shark fin soup’. They are also in demand for use in Chinese medicines.
So what can be done to ensure these enigmatic sea creatures can be protected, and should they be?
Miranda Krestovnikoff dons her wetsuit to take a closer look at the big fish living around the UK coast.