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The first time I saw an image of a finned shark I was appalled. The shark was sinking in clear beautiful blue water without it’s classic dorsal fin.  The image was especially disturbing because it took a moment for my brain to register what I was looking at, and because the shark was clearly in great distress.

The practice of shark finning is outlawed in U.S. waters, but many countries like Columbia, Ecuador and Oman still allow it, while others like Costa Rica have weak or unenforced regulations. Due to the global nature of our world shark fins gathered legally or illegally are washing up into the U.S. marketplace and being transported and sold within our borders.

Read the rest of the story over at National Geographic.