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PUPILS ARE BITING BACK; Protest letters against 'barbaric' shark finning published by mag.

Byline: By SAM CASEY News Reporter

OUTRAGED pupils who wrote to a national magazine about the barbaric practice of shark finning had their letters published.

Year 9 pupils from ALmondbury high School were moved by the award-winning film Shark water, which documents how live sharks have their fins sliced off before being thrown back into the water.

The film was shown as part of a geography topic about the oceans.

Seventeen of the class wrote to scuba diving magazine Diver.

And pupils Reece Leeming and Caitlin Smith had their letters printed.

Geography teacher Liz Hattersley, who has been diving all over the world, said: "After watching the film they wanted to do something, they were really affected by what they saw.

"They were very angry. I was really impressed - even pupils who didn't really care about the issue before turned their opinions around."

Caitlin's letter said: "I was very disgusted that people have the cold heartedness to kill innocent sharks.

"The mafia-run shark-finning companies do not understand that if sharks become extinct they will not be able to eat the fish, so the fish will overpopulate and eat the coral that provides the oxygen for us to breathe."

Reece's letter said: "There has been a 90% decline in sharks and half of all shark species are at risk.

"Long lining, which is used to catch sharks, also catches many other species of animals, like loggerhead turtles and because fishermen aren't looking for turtles they just throw the dead ones back in the water.

"Shark fins are used as a tasteless ingredient in soup and they also think it is a medicine, but this has never been scientifically proven.

"Shark finning should be illegal."

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SHARK LETTERS: Liz Hattersley
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Sep 5, 2008
Words:289
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