Sharks may soon be more valuable to the tourism industry than the restaurant industry. That's good news for the 38 million sharks killed each year to meet the demand for shark fin soup. A new study says that the global shark-watching industry is currently worth $314 million annually, but is expected to double within the next 20 years. Meanwhile, the $630 million-per-year shark fishing industry is in decline, reports LiveScience.
The challenge now, say conservationists, is to convince many countries that sharks are worth more alive than dead, and encourage them to create financial incentives and open more sanctuaries, reports Reuters. "We are hoping that people will recognize that sharks are not only valuable on the plate," says the study's lead author. (Read more sharks stories.)