While sharks prevail in the oceans, they are no match for fishers who catch them to cut off their fins for sale. Up to 73 million sharks are pulled from the water each year, according to the ocean protection organization Oceana, and hauled on board a fishing vessel, where their fins are sawed off their live bodies. Then they are thrown back into the water where, without their fins, they cannot get water to flow over their gills to access oxygen. They drown, starve to death, or drift down in the water, where they are eaten alive by other animals.
Source: latimes.com – Los Angeles Times