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My Name is Wanda - I am a Dying Great White Shark

Updated on December 3, 2012

I’m lying on the ocean floor.

The worst of the pain has eased off a bit now.

The men on the boat cut all my fins off before tossing me back overboard like a piece of garbage. The pain was horrendous.

I didn’t realise what was happening at first, until I tried to swim away and couldn’t.

The panic set in at that moment. I wriggled my body as much as I could, but I just kept sinking, and here I am, lying helpless at the bottom of the ocean.

Other sharks will come around soon to put me out of misery, as I have done for other sharks before me.

You see, we keep the oceans clean, by eating dead and dying sea creatures, including our own.

If we didn’t, your beaches would be covered with dead sea creatures, and every time the tide came in, there would be more until the whole of the world was a massive stinking mess.

great white shark's brain
great white shark's brain | Source

I'm ready to die

I welcome death; the pain of a shark bite is no more painful than what I am experiencing now.

It will be a Blessed relief, in fact. I am ready to die.

In another few moments I will send electrical signals to the others to come for me.

That is how we sharks communicate with each other.

For 400 million years we have evolved in the sea, without changing much outwardly.

We are highly intelligent. Some of you have taught us “tricks”, and written on that thing you call the internet about how we are easier to train than dogs.

We were only playing. You have no idea what we are capable of.

We may only have small brains, but we use every part of our brains. Do you?

Look at the diagram here, can you see our antennas? That is how we communicate. We have no vocal chords.

If we did, I'd be screaming now.

We have our own internet, and it is completely wireless.

I can send a message now to my old friend Wally Down Under, even though I am on the other side of the world.

What’s that, Wally?”

He said “Goodbye old friend”.

A tear is running down my gills now.


I am sad to leave.

I’ve had a good life.

In my 40 years, I’ve had 16 pups. They’re good kids.

They call me every day. I always know where they are.

You humans think I desert them at birth, but that is simply not true.

All my pups have been between 18” and 4’ long at birth, and able to stand and fight on their own from the moment of birth.

I am so proud of every one of them.

They learnt long before birth how to survive, by eating their brothers and sisters, and any unfertilized eggs I had.

You maybe think that is barbaric, but how else could I ensure I produce top sharks, just like me.

Sharks have to be able to fight because, you know how it is, everyone wants to be top dog, and everyone wants to knock the top dogs off their position.

It’s no different in the ocean.

Our job, as sharks, is to keep everyone else in line; to stop some fish or other creature from over-breeding and killing off a sub-eco-system by overfeeding.

We are very good at what we do.

We have done this for 400 million years, before even the dinosaur came along, and as for you?

You’ve only been here for 200,000 years, which is a fraction of the time we have.

Do you really want to wipe us out? What did we do that was so bad?

I’ve never attacked you.

I know others who have, but they were accidents.

You don’t realise how badly a shark feels later when they learn that you weren’t a seal after all, and that you died from blood loss.

On behalf of all sharks the world over, I apologize.

Excuse me while a try and shuffle a bit; there is a particularly jaggy rock sticking into me...that’s a bit better.

Aaaargh! I can't breathe!

My time is near. My vision is clouding.

You only wanted my fins to make soup.

Is that all I am, a pot of soup to someone?

It wouldn’t feel so bad if you took all of me, but just my fins?

My precious fins, without which I must die.

I'm calling the boys over now. The ocean must be kept clean!

Farewell, world, I am sorry to leave so early.

a finned hammerhead shark
a finned hammerhead shark | Source

Shark finning and shark fin soup

Wanda is a fictional shark.

100 million sharks are killed every year, to die a horrible death just like Wanda.

Shark finning is a huge industry, and some people have been made very rich indeed at the cost of those beautiful sea creatures we call sharks.

Asian people of Chinese origin have long coveted shark fin soup, and increasingly wealth in many industrialised parts of China and indeed around the world where people of Chinese descent live has increased the demand.

In Chinese culture, food is served with respect for the guests in mind.

To this end, it is considered to be an honor to serve shark fin soup to business associates, or at banquets or weddings.

It is incredibly expensive cuisine; the more expensive the better according to Chinese tradition.

Sharks fins can cost up to $700 a kilo at market. (Gold is $1400 and that is it at an all time high!)

This has encouraged fishermen the world over to give up fishing for their traditional catch and go after sharks instead.

Many countries have brought in legislation forcing the sea-men to return to port with the carcases too, but in reality, no-one counts the fins and many are simply shoved overboard like poor Wanda above.


Say no to shark fin soup

As a result, a massive 75% of the world's sharks have disappeared forever, and many shark species are now critically endangered.

Legislation against shark finning, (and sharks do feel pain; it is a barbaric practise), simply cannot work because it would cost too much money to employ the necessary staff.

Far better to reduce the demand. People, especially Chinese people, must learn that the cost of shark fin soup is simply too high.

From all accounts, shark fin soup is tasteless anyway.

Shark fin is NOT good for you

It is also true to say, that despite ancient Chinese medicine saying differently, there is absolutely no truth in the rumour that sharks fins cure disease or are good for us in any way at all.

Sharks fins contain Mercury

In actual fact, shark fins contain high doses of mercury and so should be avoided by pregnant women as this can cause defects in unborn children.

Mercury is also supposed to increase virility according to the Chinese, but it does the exact opposite and can make man infertile.

Please stop eating shark fin soup. Save the sharks like Wanda.


Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay investigates the shark finning industry


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