3 min read

One Woman's Brilliant Idea That Could Wipe Out Shark Finning Forever

<p><a class="checked-link" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/josephboyd/6092741290/in/photolist-ahoTHC-orHdVP-oJaHEj-orGJL5-firgXX-bHubUR-oHVAJT-orGUyS-orGKDM-7mMZuJ-orGFNv-oJaDoJ-oGayXL-brMPNS-4zNVKa-6Yio3c-mwHrgx-3gj1V1-4ERf6h-21tYi-5uJsLG-oGazeC-5iMXWJ-orGEpZ-4Ys1kR-9FHiME-8EusEY-9vF1sK-35Uidn-7vXQM6-e3aS2y-e3aRB1-brMPML-4zNWsk-6rnDn5-aqgPWD-4rD7qz-4t8YPD-8gcrU8-KrBt-7cYZEG-oC5zRw-75w2vC-wjE1B-7ubqSG-jso1xq-aq1gm7-7cV6tM-jTiCyH-5vF5CA">Joe Boyd/Flickr</a></p>

Every year some 100 million sharks are killed, many of them destined for the lucrative shark fin trade. This figure represents about seven percent of the entire population of sharks in the world - a much higher figure than what scientists estimate would be a sustainable catch.

But in many poor coastal communities, catching sharks and selling their fins is profitable - and in many cases, the only way to get by. The problem is a tough one: how do conservationists save sharks while ensuring that the people who depend on them can survive?

Kathy Xu, founder of an organization called The Dorsal Effect, thinks she's found the perfect solution for shark finning fishermen living in some of the most remote and beautiful places on Earth.

Warning: Video contains graphic images.

Xu and her team visit local shark fishermen and urge them to take tourists out for snorkeling boat trips instead of fishing. Their tours set off from the same fish markets that dead sharks are hauled in daily, providing a visual motivation to support ecotourism, not shark finning. Fishermen make a living, while sharks get to live.

Lombok may be making great strides for sharks, but this isn't true for every coastal community. See this page for more information about how to help stop the global crisis that shark populations are experiencing.