If you have the means, would you order a shark fin soup?

I have not tasted a shark fin soup, and decide today i will never order such if i found myself billeted to a Chinese resto. Here’s why:

  • A bowl of shark fin soup can cost $100
  • A single fin is worth more than $1,300
  • Shark hunters are only after the fins; dead shark bodies are often discarded and to think that sharks have low reproductive rates
  • Each year, 73 million sharks are killed mostly in the name of trade and business
  • 10 million kilograms of shark fins are exported annually to Hongkong by nearly 87 countries 
  • Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand and China are the biggest shark fin consumers
  • Shark fin soup consumption conveys status symbol
  • Spain, Singapore, and Taiwan are the biggest suppliers

What’s the big deal currently? At the UN-initiated 175-nation Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species in Doha, Qatar (March 13-25, 2010), soup-consuming countries listed above sabotaged and rejected the proposal to ban the trade on the following endangered ocean dwellers:

  • spiny dogfish shark
  • scalloped hammerhead
  • oceanic whitetip sharks
  • bluefin tuna (for sushi)
  • and red and pink coral

Environmentalists considered this an embarrassing triumph of trade over science, of profits over conservation.

It makes me think: sharks are often portrayed as deadly for human beings, and not necessarily as important members of the ocean world and ecosystem, perhaps in order to justify the human violence (whose undergrounds are consumerism, status symbol, or wealth) against them. That they are “killable” indeed. Now – who ends up the real killer and threat to the ecosystem?

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Photo credit: Joshkay

4 thoughts on “If you have the means, would you order a shark fin soup?

  1. Hi Al,

    If this is an advocacy, may I add foie gras to the list.

    “The controversial production of foie gras (the liver of a duck or a goose that has been specially fattened) involves force-feeding birds more food than they would eat in the wild, and much more than they would voluntarily eat domestically. The feed, usually corn boiled with fat (to facilitate ingestion), deposits large amounts of fat in the liver, thereby producing the buttery consistency sought by the gastronome. ………….geese and ducks show “avoidance behaviour indicating aversion for the person who feeds them and the feeding procedure.” (taken from wikepedia)

    In God’s perfect plan, everything was provided to us for our survival and sustenance. But I believe we are also tasked with protecting and ensuring that all creatures in this world live in perfect harmony.

    • Hi Amor – thank you for this info. It is disgusting a human manipulation of those powerless creatures. If only they take the time to listen to the often silent, wordless protest of these creatures…

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