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How do you feel about shark fin soup?

By johnboy - 16 February 2012 79

shark

A friend sent me a link to the Canberra Restaurants named as selling shark fin soup with this note:

Hokay, I don’t normally post these sorts of things, but shark fin soup is whack and this website provides a list of restaurants in Canberra (and all of Australia) that actually sell it. Sharks are amazing animals, critical to aquatic ecosystem functioning and, as a SCUBA diver, I need all the good shark karma I can get. Rather than just not eating at these restaurants, I recommend if you’re in the neighborhood, stop by and tell them WHY you’re not eating there!

The restaurants are: Happys Chinese Restaurant (Civic), King Fook Restaurant (Florey), Noble Palace Chinese Restaurant (Phillip), Prince Palace Chinese Restaurant (Emu Bank), Ruby Chinese Restaurant (Dickson).

While I’m not a fan of killing sharks just for their fins I’m not convinced eating fins is ethically that different to eating any other part of a fish. What do you think?

[Photo by StormyDog CC BY 2.0]

What’s Your opinion?


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79 Responses to
How do you feel about shark fin soup?
1
EvanJames 10:21 am
16 Feb 12
#

The issue is how the fins are obtained. The sharks are caught, the fins are hacked off, and then the still living sharks are chucked overboard. Missing their various fins, they can stay upright or swim or steer, so they sink and die a slow death.

That’s the issue with shark fin.

Sharks are often caught as meat-fish, you eat it in fish and chipperies as “flake” or just “shark”. That’s different, the fish is caught and killed, and eaten.

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2
johnboy 10:22 am
16 Feb 12
#

EvanJames said :

The issue is how the fins are obtained. The sharks are caught, the fins are hacked off, and then the still living sharks are chucked overboard. Missing their various fins, they can stay upright or swim or steer, so they sink and die a slow death.

That’s the issue with shark fin.

Sharks are often caught as meat-fish, you eat it in fish and chipperies as “flake” or just “shark”. That’s different, the fish is caught and killed, and eaten.

So hypothetically there would be no problem eating shark fin soup if the rest of the shark was being used?

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3
Thumper 10:30 am
16 Feb 12
#

The issue is the cruelty involved in the capture.

Sharks are thrown back into the water minus their fins to die a slow and cruel death.

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4
Stevian 10:35 am
16 Feb 12
#

It tastes like chicken.

Use chicken

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5
neanderthalsis 10:39 am
16 Feb 12
#

johnboy said :

EvanJames said :

The issue is how the fins are obtained…

Sharks are often caught as meat-fish, you eat it in fish and chipperies as “flake” or just “shark”. That’s different, the fish is caught and killed, and eaten.

So hypothetically there would be no problem eating shark fin soup if the rest of the shark was being used?

I agree with E-J. If they hack the fins off and leave the shark to die, unable to breathe properly, swim and hunt, then yes, I do have an issue with it. If the whole shark is taken for food, provided that it is not endangered/protected, then I don’t really mind.

It’s like killing a cow just to make a pickled tongue sandwich.

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6
Grail 10:40 am
16 Feb 12
#

johnboy said :

So hypothetically there would be no problem eating shark fin soup if the rest of the shark was being used?

The problem with that line of reasoning is that it legitimizes shark fin soup, which then tends to encourage the capture of sharks for their fins (and subsequent dumping into the ocean sans-fins).

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7
JonahBologna 10:42 am
16 Feb 12
#

The catch rate of sharks for their fins are rapidly depleting oceans of one of their apex predators (they eat everything, nothing eats them). When an ecosystem has it’s apex predator removed another predator is promoted and able to take over the system.

In the eastern Pacific the new apex predator is the squid. They are proliferating and taking over the ecosystem. I like squid rings, but when I go diving or snorkelling I’d rather see a shark once in a while feeding on the sick and weak fish rather than enormous schools of squid capable of decimating entire fish populations.

Sharks have been a part of the ocean since the time of the dinosaurs. They probably won’t be eradicated by humans, but they are being seriously affected.

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8
Thumper 10:48 am
16 Feb 12
#

Grail said :

johnboy said :

So hypothetically there would be no problem eating shark fin soup if the rest of the shark was being used?

The problem with that line of reasoning is that it legitimizes shark fin soup, which then tends to encourage the capture of sharks for their fins (and subsequent dumping into the ocean sans-fins).

That’s true.

Ban shark fin soup and you take away the demand.

Okay, it may only be a few places in Canberra but it’s a start.

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9
EvanJames 10:49 am
16 Feb 12
#

EvanJames said :

Missing their various fins, they can stay upright or swim or steer, so they sink and die a slow death.

Argh. Typo. should read CAN’T stay upright, swim or steer.

To use the cow analogy, it’s like hacking the legs off a cow, and leaving it to bleed to death, immobile.

I’m actually a bit surprised shark fin hasn’t been banned, it’s pretty frightful.

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10
poetix 10:51 am
16 Feb 12
#

As I endlessly post here, I’m a vegetarian, but I’d rather eat foie gras than this stuff. At least the Frenchies aren’t totally depleting the oceans of their top predators, and throwing the whole ecosystem out of whack. The cruelty involved is much worse than anything we saw in the Indonesian abattoirs, as the animals die an even slower death. And if you are silly enough to think that protein needs to come from animals, that’s a hell of a lot of it being thrown back to, um, feed the fishes.

Shark fin soup should be banned; I actually assumed it was in Australia. Are the fins used in these places sourced from plucky Aussie sharks?

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11
phototext 10:55 am
16 Feb 12
#

“So hypothetically there would be no problem eating shark fin soup if the rest of the shark was being used?”

If you are going to kill an animal for food (I eat meat) then it does make more ethical sense to me to use the whole animal.

The problem with fishing for shark fin is that it doesn’t make economic sense for the fishing boats to keep the whole animal, there is only so much room on the boat and you fill the space available with what makes the most money. Catch shark, cut fin off, throw shark overboard. Repeat until space available full.

That can mean hundreds of sharks killed to feed x number of people. Whole shark used means a higher number of people fed.

There is also the cruelty factor that not killing the shark and dumping it to die in the water with fin cut off is a pretty horrible thing to do.

I love shark fin soup but have to draw the line somewhere and just don’t eat it these days, it’s just too cruel.

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12
colourful sydney rac 11:01 am
16 Feb 12
#

EvanJames said :

EvanJames said :

Missing their various fins, they can stay upright or swim or steer, so they sink and die a slow death.

Argh. Typo. should read CAN’T stay upright, swim or steer.

To use the cow analogy, it’s like hacking the legs off a cow, and leaving it to bleed to death, immobile.

I’m actually a bit surprised shark fin hasn’t been banned, it’s pretty frightful.

+1 It is an absolute disgrace. THis is the sort of issue that the Greens should be focussing on.

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13
dtc 11:07 am
16 Feb 12
#

Didnt you all watch that show on ABC a few nights ago showing the huge numbers of sharks now resident in Sydney Harbour?

Having eaten shark fin soup (part of the traditional Chinese New Years meal in HK), it tastes of little and feels like slimy noodles. I’m not really sure of the attraction – I think its meant to symbolise something like wealth or power. Anyway, never been tempted to eat it again irrespective of the environmental concerns.

The CT says ‘Happys’ has removed shark fin from its menu. Not sure what kind of shark fin would come within the usual Happys meal pricing – its usually a luxury food.

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14
pajs 11:24 am
16 Feb 12
#

Ban. A cruel, stupid and unneccessary thing. Sharks are too important to do this to, especially the pressured populations (which is a hell of a lot of them). You’d get a lot less take of sharks if the fin had no effective value.

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15
Disinformation 11:30 am
16 Feb 12
#

So the only way to deal with this issue is to ensure that no shark fin soup is ever offered.

You won’t be able to discern the difference between soup made of sharks that were harvested for their fins only and the ones that were entirely utilised with their fins being used for soup.

It’s back to Panda paw soup for me.

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