There's an eco-disaster in my soup

a) Calculate what percentage of the total shark body is the dorsal fin.
b) What percentage waste occurs if the fin is the only part of the shark used.
c) If 800 000 tonnes of shark were caught in 1998 how many tonnes of fin were taken. Use the percentage calculated in Q1a to find your answer.

a) If 1000 000 sharks weigh 800 000 tonnes, how much will one shark weigh?
b) Is this a realistic weight for a shark?
c) Would the different sharks sizes make a difference? For example how might a Basking shark or a Gummy shark affect the results?

622,908 tonnes of shark was caught in 1985 while 800 000 tonnes was caught in 1998. If we continue to fish sharks at the same rate, how many will be caught in 2011?

Visually depict the loss in the shark populations.

How would you estimate the total shark population?

How much would one bowl of shark finn soup cost.


(Written by Amber Kenny, BTeach student, University of Tasmania, 2001

Where to next?

Newspaper article
Index - Related articles
Index - Number
Main Index - Numeracy in the News