Sharks play an essential rol in the health of our oceans

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Wanted – dead or alive?

Infographic by Pew Charitable trusts

Infographic by Pew Charitable trusts

Sharks can be worth much more when they are alive, as this infographic by Pew Charitable Trusts shows. It is a saddening thought, that the shark fin trade is still going strong, despites mixed messages about lower sales figures.

But not only sharks balance on the brink of extinction. Biologists have used conservative new estimates to prove that vertebrate species on Earth are disappearing faster than at any time since the extinction of the dinosaurs, and humans are now at risk of being wiped out.

“[The study] shows without any significant doubt that we are now entering the sixth great mass extinction event,” one of the researchers, Paul Ehrlich from Stanford University in the US, said in a press release. Even worse, the research shows that we triggered the event ourselves (read more here).

Not only sharks, but countless other marine creatures are highly sought after by the practioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine. But times could be changing…

Up to two-thirds of the over 8,500 traditional Chinese medicine products could get phased out when a government regulation comes into effect on June 30.

Practitioners and manufacturers of traditional Chinese medicine fear the ancient tradition may be imperiled by tough government regulations, aimed at preventing the sale of worthless and potentially dangerous proprietary medicines but put on hold for years – are likely to ban up to two-thirds of popular remedies now on sale, even some with proven therapeutic and remedial qualities. We need to remember however, that most ingredients are useless. There are 8,541 proprietary medicines currently permitted for sale in Hong Kong under temporary certificates. Only 493 of these are formally registered. In other words, only 6 percent of all proprietary medicines sold in Hong Kong have full certification Many of these are herbal oils, which are easy to certify.
The traditional Chinese medicine fraternity calls the regulations draconian, but it could save species both on land and in our oceans.

Read more about this subject here.

Not only sharks are used in traditional Chinese medicine...

Not only sharks are used in traditional Chinese medicine…

Gary Stokes of Sea Shepherd states: “TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) is a large contributor to this Sixth Mass Extinction we are witnessing. We must respect cultural differences, however this must be a secondary priority if the bio-diversity of our planet is at risk. .”

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