The fins of the shark are the only part of the animal harvested by those in this trade. The sharks are caught, the fins cut off and the animal is dumped back into the ocean live. The sharks do not survive the process. They can no longer swim, they sink, dying slowly. A good comparison to this activity would be buffalo hunting in 18th century. During the 16th century there were between 25 to 30 million buffalo in North America by 1880 there were on 100 remaining in the wild. The only part of the buffalo that was valued was it's hide. The remainder of the carcass, once the skin was removed, was left to rot where the animal fell. This is the picture that we should retain in this comparison with shark fin harvests with one major difference. The buffalo's hide was removed usually, hopefully, after death. The sharks are alive during the removal, after the removal of their fins and allow to slowly die after being returned to the ocean. I realize that compassion often has no place in hunting but we are capable of wiping out sharks entirely without some form of external control. We are seeing entire species being killed off now. The question is: are we willing to do something to save these creatures? My bet, in the US under this Administration and Congress, No. Not without enough of us speaking up.