Target: Minister of State for Ministry of Environment and Forests: Jayanthi Natarajan
Goal: Thank India for banning shark “finning,” and encourage the country to continue standing up for animals
India has lately been taking a stand for animal rights. The country recently ruled that dolphins should be seen as ‘non-human persons,’ making keeping dolphins captive for entertainment purposes illegal. Now India is standing up for sharks: the Environment Ministry of India has banned hunting sharks for only their fins, a practice called “finning,” limiting hunting of endangered species.
Shark “finning” is the act of slicing off a shark’s fin and throwing the shark back, alive, to die a slow death at the bottom of the ocean. The popularity of this act has been growing substantially, as the demand for fins in China escalates. Shark fin soup is considered a delicacy in China, mainly consumed at special events like weddings. Behind Indonesia, India is the second-largest shark catching nation. Because of this ban many endangered shark species, such as hammerheads and whale sharks, have a better chance of thriving.
Sharks may still be hunted in India, as many people fish them for food. Removal of the fins may only be done on shore, and any fisherman caught with hauls including detached fins risks a seven year sentence in prison. This ban will force fishermen to catch sharks in order to use the whole animal, which is a step in the right direction. India is making huge strides in the animal rights movement. Commend the country for this progression and encourage it to stay at the forefront by banning endangered shark hunting altogether.
Dear Minister of State: Jayanthi Natarajan,
The Ministry of Environment and Forests has made valiant leaps in the name of animal rights. India is the second-largest shark catching nation; it holds a lot of power. India is choosing to use that power for good with introducing a ban on catching sharks just for their fins. Because of this ban many endangered shark species that inhabit the coastal waters of India will have a chance to thrive.
India is at the forefront of animal rights. I commend all of your efforts to help the animal kingdom. Hunting for shark fins is now illegal; however, the endangered sharks inhabiting the coastal waters are still allowed to be hunted. While the ban on shark fins will help the species, in order for the sharks to have no threat of extinction a ban on fishing them altogether is necessary. I urge you to consider a ban on fishing endangered sharks, if not indefinitely, at the least for a few years to allow the populations a chance to catch up.
Your valiant movement in animal rights is respected and encouraged. Thank you for understanding that these animals need a voice. Please consider a further ban on hunting endangered sharks.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: NOAA via Wikimedia Commons