Shark's Fin Soup - Who Needs It...???

This ancient and rather strange tradition is now causing serious and catastrophic problems with the ecological balance in our oceans. Many shark types have now become endangered species and not enough action is being taken by governments to prevent the dramatic depletion of our shark life. The demand in some places is now so fashionable it has become insatiable. Is it worth it? In Gordon Ramsey's programme, Shark Bait (C4 / 2011), his opinion was that the pork broth, prepared prior to the fin being added, was delicious and really tasty and yet, as far as the finished soup was concerned, the fin itself didn't really taste of anything. In fact, he went on to say that perhaps chicken, sweetcorn, or duck, etc, could have easily been substituted. Whatever the case, it has to be said that this dish is a dish we could all quite easily live without and that would hardly be a sacrifice compared to depleting our oceans of a vital species that has been around for four hundred million years. In pursuing this dish we are also gradually and systematically screwing up the ecology of our oceans, the outcome of which we perhaps have no idea!

Shark's fin soup is tremendously expensive and consequently, the industry supporting this tradition, lucrative and attractive, to people trying to make a living. All I can say is that if diners can afford to spend so much money on a bowl of soup, they must have far too much of it and perhaps should consider giving some to those who 'really' need it. There are plenty of other things to eat in this world without being quite so thoughless and barbaric.

In the preparation for the soup, the sharks are caught and landed on the deck of a boat at sea, they are then 'finned' whilst still alive, a barbaric action in itself as the fins are sliced and hacked off. The rest of the shark, now minus its fins, is then returned to the ocean to die a horrible death. Perhaps a bit like cutting off your arms and legs and just leaving your torso on the floor to get on with it. The rest of the shark is financially worth next to nothing in comparison to the fins, consequently we now have a wasteful and destructive industry geared up to catching and finning as many sharks as they can, using just five percent of the shark and discarding the rest in barbaric fashion. Blindly depleting this species perhaps to the point of no return. The sad thing is, that apart from isolated individuals and causes for concern, no government is doing enough to prevent this.

Further info below from the Stop Shark Finning Website...

Every year tens of millions of sharks die a slow death because of finning. Finning is the inhumane practice of hacking off the shark’s fins and throwing its still living body back into the sea. The sharks either starve to death, are eaten alive by other fish, or drown (if they are not in constant movement their gills cannot extract oxygen from the water). Shark fins are being "harvested" in ever greater numbers to feed the growing demand for shark fin soup, an Asian "delicacy".

Further info from the Sea Shepherd Website...