According to the article Chinese belly-gods warn: Eating shark fins to have ecological, health consequences, not only does the shark fin market pose a devastating risk to marine ecosystems, it may also pose a health risk to its consumers. Steve Trent of Wild Aid is pushing for promoting awareness about dangers of shark fin consumption in China, the world’s largest consumer of shark fins. Part of this awareness campaign includes Public Service Announcements like the one below (Warning: contains brief finning imagery)
According to Trent,
"Research shows they contain heavy metals such as mercury, which can cause damage to the nervous system and male infertility."
According to the article, Trent said that most Chinese shark fin consumers were not aware of the ecological effects of the shark fin industry. He also noted that many consumers did not even that shark fin delicacies actually contained the fins. This is due to the literal translation of "yu chi" meaning "fish fin". Due to this confusion, some consumers assumed they were eating highly nutritional domestic fish. Trent encourages responsible fishing practices and goes on to say that the "hunting of sharks should be carried out in a sustainable way, restraint should be exercised in consumption of the cartilaginous fish, and the practice of hunting sharks merely for fins should be banned."