A paper on the shark fishery coming out in the next issue of Marine Policy estimates that we're catching 100 million sharks each year, largely to supply the Asian hunger for shark fin soup. 100 million is a really big number -- it's understandably hard to translate it into your run of the mill everyday experience. So Joe Chernov and Robin Richards (AKA Ripetungi) made a graphic to help you with that.
To be fair, the issue here is not the sheer mind-boggling enormity of the shark catch: I expect that it's dwarfed by the worldwide catch of herring or sardines. The problem is that sharks are large apex predators who take a long time to grow to maturity and reproduce very slowly. Most shark species make babies using some flavor of vivipary -- instead of spawning, their babies develop inside their moms. In some species pregnancy lasts more than a year. So sharks are classic "K strategists" when it comes to reproduction: instead of tossing millions of fry into the sea, they invest heavily in a few babies.
Worldwide indiscriminate fishing of animals that have only a few babies at a time once every year or two? Doesn't take long to eat those puppies into extinction.
H/T to Kyle Hill for alerting me to the graphic.