Shark Attack Victims Now Sharks’ Biggest Advocates

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A group of shark attack survivors, though scarred and maimed, have banded together in an unexpected display of forgiveness.

The group is now advocating on behalf of sharks in an attempt to halt shark-finning—where a shark is caught and its fin is sliced off, before it’s thrown back into the water. The fins are used to make shark fin soup, considered a delicacy, but the practice results in the deaths of millions of sharks every year.

The group of nine survivors, ages 21 to 55, met at the United Nations headquarters on Monday to address the issue and pressure UN members into curbing these practices. The Associated Press reports that it’s been more than 10 years since 130 nations agreed to develop “shark management plans,” but since then only 40 countries have done so.

Each of the survivors said that they do not blame sharks for their attacks; it was simply a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

One victim, Krishna Thompson of New York, who lost his leg in to a shark in 2001, told the Guardian, “if I could endure such an attack and lose a limb and still support shark conservation, I don’t see why anybody else shouldn’t.”