On the 21st of December 2007, a three-metre tiger shark ripped a chunk of flesh out of my leg while surfing in the Galápagos islands.
Immediately a number of locals suggested that we go out and slaughter sharks as some kind of retribution for what happened.
To be frank - I was surfing in the middle of a sea-lion colony in an area that is world renowned for being home to thousands of sharks. I was in their territory and do not blame the shark for its actions.
Diving with these ferocious fish generates millions of dollars for tourism, which is one of the only ways that the local population can earn a crust.
Another way is slaughtering sharks.
I was shocked to find that shark-finning is not illegal in New Zealand, despite the fact that it is banned in Australia, the EU, the USA, South Africa, Ecuador, Mexico and Brazil.
Even more disturbing is the fact that our own Seafood Industry Magazine regularly publishes advertisements for people who want to purchase shark fins, which actively encourages this horrible practice to continue.
Shark finning involves fishermen cutting fins off to sell - mainly to Asian markets or restaurants - where people believe that eating them is going to increase the size of their manhood. The rest of the body, deemed unprofitable, is thrown back into the ocean, leaving the dismembered animals to suffer a slow but inevitable death.
Warning: This video shows graphic images of shark finning in New Zealand
Ministry of Fisheries data estimates that 1,680 tonnes of shark are taken annually in New Zealand just for their fins - such an incredible waste.
As apex predators, sharks are crucial to maintaining a healthy balance in our ecosystems. We must stop the senseless waste and cruelty that fishermen practice regularly.
As someone who has been injured by a shark, I wholeheartedly deplore those that think it is excusable to maim and kill these animals for the vanity of people who think it will make them better in bed.
Shame on you.
What can you do about it?By Sam Judd Email Sam