by Patrick Appel
One-third of shark species are endangered. Seventy-three million sharks are killed each year for their fins (shark-fin soup is huge in Asia) or meat or just as collateral damage of the wider fish trade. Their enormous decline over the past decade has many scientists worried about biodiversity and the health of the oceans, but in part because of their negative image, many conservation efforts fail. It seems easier to set up infrastructure to protect us from them rather than the other way around, though as Eilperin points out, forty times more Americans go to the hospital for bad encounters with Christmas tree ornaments than for shark attacks.