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18,000 shark fins discovered drying out on Hong Kong rooftop18,000 shark fins discovered drying out on Hong Kong rooftop

WATCH: 18,000 Shark Fins Discovered on Hong Kong Rooftop

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Today, animal activist and Virgin Group founder Richard Branson posted this shocking discovery of 18,000 shark fins drying out on a Hong Kong rooftop.

According to the video below, this shark fin trading operation was only recently discovered and is causing quite the stir among animal activists, like Branson.

It’s hard to understand why shark fins are so valuable, but as the video explains fins are a “highly sought-after expensive delicacy in Asia and are prized for their health benefits.” Hong Kong also has one of the largest fin markets.

In the past, shark fins used to dry out on the streets, but there was an “outcry,” which is probably why the operation is being hidden, Gary Stokes, a Sea Shepherd spokesman, says.

“The most barbaric elements of the shark fin is obviously the finning. Not all sharks are finned; a lot of regulations are coming in where they have to land the entire shark. By taking out an Apex predator like the sharks, then obviously the snowball effect down the ecosystems will be unprecedented,” Stokes says.

The Sea Shepherd marine conservation group notes that about 100 million sharks are killed each year for fin trading.

Branson encourages all to sign this petition to stop such horrific actions and says, “2013 could be the year of the ocean – the year we help stop the devastation of our most important natural resource. This is one small step. We’ll keep you updated on the progress of the OceanElders and other groups trying to protect the ocean as the year goes on.”

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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