It's common knowledge that sharks have been around for over 400 million years. What isn’t so widely known is that an estimated 100 million are slaughtered each year, mostly for the unregulated, multibillion dollar shark-fin industry. Faintly egotistical biologist-turned-filmmaker Rob Stewart spent four years making this investigative doc and the result, despite his tendency towards over-earnest, stoner-esque commentary, is enlightening, shocking and more than a little worrying.
It opens in familiar nature-doc territory with eye-candy scenes of sharks cruising the shallows, while statistics remind us, for instance, of the importance of sharks to the planet’s eco system, and how ‘soda pop machines kill more people’. Then we join activist Paul Watson aboard his ship as he does battle with illegal fishermen, pays a clandestine visit to Costa Rica’s mob-protected shark-fin trade, and witnesses sickening footage of sharks having their fins sliced off – all for a bowl of soup. And you thought only chickens had it bad.