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How do you feel about shark fin soup?

By 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]

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79 Responses to How do you feel about shark fin soup?
#31
Thumper2:38 pm, 16 Feb 12

neanderthalsis said :

poetix said :

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.

I’ve know a few geese that fit into the top predator category, including one that made a very large mastiff/ridge-back cross pigging dog make a very hasty retreat.

I have a duck that attacks people.

Seriously.

#32
Disinformation3:34 pm, 16 Feb 12

Thumper said :

I have a duck that attacks people.

Seriously.

When this duck savages a small child or pensioner, this post will be evidence that you knew that your duck was a menace and did nothing about it.

#33
Gungahlin Al3:36 pm, 16 Feb 12

A truly horrible practice that also screws up the natural order.
Agree that you can’t pick sustainable from cruel so the only solution is to boycott it altogether.

On a related issue, is anyone else bothered to see the fish shop in the Canberra Centre selling Orange Roughies? This is a massively overfished resource with individuals living to 150 years and not even starting to breed until about 25.

#34
Mysteryman3:41 pm, 16 Feb 12

qbngeek said :

Mysteryman said :

I agree. But honestly, this issue doesn’t rank too highly on my list of concerns.

And that is the issue. Too many people think exactly like you and nothing ever changes. It takes about 5 minutes to write a letter and send it to all your local members of the assembly and federal parliament. Are you really that busy?

Its the same a people who go ‘I don’t care where the food comes from as long as I can get it at Colesworths’ Spend a cuple of hours each weekend going to the farmers markets, find sources of local products and decrese your footprint on the world. When you have seen how much better the food is, you will see why it is right.

I didn’t say I was too busy. I said it doesn’t rank highly on my list of concerns. Essentially, I don’t care enough about the issue to spend my time on it. Whether you like it or not, that’s the way it is.

Don’t think that just because you want to support something, the rest of us should have to also. You are more than welcome to be anti-shark fin soup, anti-whaling, anti supermarket food, anti-whatever you want. I would encourage it, even. There are many causes worth supporting and it’s your right as an Australian so make every legal effort to change the things you don’t like. We need people to care about things like this. But don’t expect that everyone should jump on board with you. Your crusade is not everyone’s. Some of us find our efforts focussed on other things. Some people probably don’t even agree with you. They probably don’t care where their food comes from. That’s ok too. They have a right not to care. It doesn’t make their opinions any less important than yours, and it doesn’t make your cause any less meaningful or worthwhile.

#35
Thumper3:47 pm, 16 Feb 12

Gungahlin Al said :

A truly horrible practice that also screws up the natural order.
Agree that you can’t pick sustainable from cruel so the only solution is to boycott it altogether.

On a related issue, is anyone else bothered to see the fish shop in the Canberra Centre selling Orange Roughies? This is a massively overfished resource with individuals living to 150 years and not even starting to breed until about 25.

Yeah, Flannery wrote about the Orange Roughie in his book the Future Eaters.

Good example of how we are tampering with nature and really have no idea what will happen.

#36
Jim Jones3:55 pm, 16 Feb 12

Mysteryman said :

qbngeek said :

Mysteryman said :

I agree. But honestly, this issue doesn’t rank too highly on my list of concerns.

And that is the issue. Too many people think exactly like you and nothing ever changes. It takes about 5 minutes to write a letter and send it to all your local members of the assembly and federal parliament. Are you really that busy?

Its the same a people who go ‘I don’t care where the food comes from as long as I can get it at Colesworths’ Spend a cuple of hours each weekend going to the farmers markets, find sources of local products and decrese your footprint on the world. When you have seen how much better the food is, you will see why it is right.

I didn’t say I was too busy. I said it doesn’t rank highly on my list of concerns. Essentially, I don’t care enough about the issue to spend my time on it. Whether you like it or not, that’s the way it is.

Don’t think that just because you want to support something, the rest of us should have to also. You are more than welcome to be anti-shark fin soup, anti-whaling, anti supermarket food, anti-whatever you want. I would encourage it, even. There are many causes worth supporting and it’s your right as an Australian so make every legal effort to change the things you don’t like. We need people to care about things like this. But don’t expect that everyone should jump on board with you. Your crusade is not everyone’s. Some of us find our efforts focussed on other things. Some people probably don’t even agree with you. They probably don’t care where their food comes from. That’s ok too. They have a right not to care. It doesn’t make their opinions any less important than yours, and it doesn’t make your cause any less meaningful or worthwhile.

You certainly spend a lot of time commenting on stuff you purportedly couldn’t care less about.

#37
SnapperJack4:00 pm, 16 Feb 12

More crap from animal activists trying to force wimpy vegetarianism and veganism onto us.

Sharks are a predator and dangerous to humans so the more that are killed the better. The same applies to crocodiles.

Every time animal activists open their mouths they should be either ignored or viciously slapped down.

#38
poetix4:02 pm, 16 Feb 12

Gungahlin Al said :

… not even starting to breed until about 25.

So you don’t see many of them in Gungahlin then?

#39
colourful sydney rac4:06 pm, 16 Feb 12

SnapperJack said :

More crap from animal activists trying to force wimpy vegetarianism and veganism onto us.

Sharks are a predator and dangerous to humans so the more that are killed the better. The same applies to crocodiles.

Every time animal activists open their mouths they should be either ignored or viciously slapped down.

obvious troll is obvious.

#40
Mysteryman4:11 pm, 16 Feb 12

Jim Jones said :

Mysteryman said :

qbngeek said :

Mysteryman said :

I agree. But honestly, this issue doesn’t rank too highly on my list of concerns.

And that is the issue. Too many people think exactly like you and nothing ever changes. It takes about 5 minutes to write a letter and send it to all your local members of the assembly and federal parliament. Are you really that busy?

Its the same a people who go ‘I don’t care where the food comes from as long as I can get it at Colesworths’ Spend a cuple of hours each weekend going to the farmers markets, find sources of local products and decrese your footprint on the world. When you have seen how much better the food is, you will see why it is right.

I didn’t say I was too busy. I said it doesn’t rank highly on my list of concerns. Essentially, I don’t care enough about the issue to spend my time on it. Whether you like it or not, that’s the way it is.

Don’t think that just because you want to support something, the rest of us should have to also. You are more than welcome to be anti-shark fin soup, anti-whaling, anti supermarket food, anti-whatever you want. I would encourage it, even. There are many causes worth supporting and it’s your right as an Australian so make every legal effort to change the things you don’t like. We need people to care about things like this. But don’t expect that everyone should jump on board with you. Your crusade is not everyone’s. Some of us find our efforts focussed on other things. Some people probably don’t even agree with you. They probably don’t care where their food comes from. That’s ok too. They have a right not to care. It doesn’t make their opinions any less important than yours, and it doesn’t make your cause any less meaningful or worthwhile.

You certainly spend a lot of time commenting on stuff you purportedly couldn’t care less about.

I care about being understood. You should care more about reading comprehension.

#41
Tooks4:21 pm, 16 Feb 12

SnapperJack said :

More crap from animal activists trying to force wimpy vegetarianism and veganism onto us.

Sharks are a predator and dangerous to humans so the more that are killed the better. The same applies to crocodiles.

Every time animal activists open their mouths they should be either ignored or viciously slapped down.

The key to successful trolling is not being ridiculously obvious about it.

On topic: Having seen footage of shark fins being obtained, I’m against it.

#42
dundle4:33 pm, 16 Feb 12

Arguably it’s ethically worse because the fin is usually taken and the shark is thrown back to die slowly or whatever. Compared to the whole animal having no chance and all being eaten.

Mind you, I find it ethically easier to avoid all meat and fish. There are a lot of problems with fishing in particular ,like bycatch (which, again, is often thrown back injured to die slowly – stuff like turtles, seals, dolphins etc) :-(

#43
Jim Jones5:16 pm, 16 Feb 12

Mysteryman said :

Jim Jones said :

Mysteryman said :

qbngeek said :

Mysteryman said :

I agree. But honestly, this issue doesn’t rank too highly on my list of concerns.

And that is the issue. Too many people think exactly like you and nothing ever changes. It takes about 5 minutes to write a letter and send it to all your local members of the assembly and federal parliament. Are you really that busy?

Its the same a people who go ‘I don’t care where the food comes from as long as I can get it at Colesworths’ Spend a cuple of hours each weekend going to the farmers markets, find sources of local products and decrese your footprint on the world. When you have seen how much better the food is, you will see why it is right.

I didn’t say I was too busy. I said it doesn’t rank highly on my list of concerns. Essentially, I don’t care enough about the issue to spend my time on it. Whether you like it or not, that’s the way it is.

Don’t think that just because you want to support something, the rest of us should have to also. You are more than welcome to be anti-shark fin soup, anti-whaling, anti supermarket food, anti-whatever you want. I would encourage it, even. There are many causes worth supporting and it’s your right as an Australian so make every legal effort to change the things you don’t like. We need people to care about things like this. But don’t expect that everyone should jump on board with you. Your crusade is not everyone’s. Some of us find our efforts focussed on other things. Some people probably don’t even agree with you. They probably don’t care where their food comes from. That’s ok too. They have a right not to care. It doesn’t make their opinions any less important than yours, and it doesn’t make your cause any less meaningful or worthwhile.

You certainly spend a lot of time commenting on stuff you purportedly couldn’t care less about.

I care about being understood. You should care more about reading comprehension.

Nothing wrong with my comprehension.

Still somewhat stunned you’d spend so much time ‘being understood’ about an issue that ‘doesn’t rank highly on your list of concerns’.

What’s next, a lengthy essay in Quadrant magazine about how the land rights debate ‘doesn’t really interest me that much’?

#44
Jim Jones5:18 pm, 16 Feb 12

Perhaps you could write a lengthy dissertation about how knowledge or animal rights is dangerous because it conflicts with people’s “right not to care”.

#45
willo5:23 pm, 16 Feb 12

It is illegal in every australian fishery to cut shark fins off and throw the shark back
It is very annoying for anyone to tell people what they should or should not eat
if you dont like sharkfin soup do not eat it, but dont tell me not to, now pissoff and start discussing something that actually matters

#46
Postalgeek5:29 pm, 16 Feb 12

Disinformation said :

Thumper said :

I have a duck that attacks people.

Seriously.

When this duck savages a small child or pensioner, this post will be evidence that you knew that your duck was a menace and did nothing about it.

Personally I think ducks should be banned, but as it is owners of aggressive duck breeds should be registered and irresponsible duck owners should face the full force of the law. It’s a disgrace. Typical f__king bogan pet.

#47
poetix5:30 pm, 16 Feb 12

Sorry, third post.

But I just remembered the justified outcry in Melbourne when someone cut off his dog’s ears without anaesthetic, with a pair of scissors. The demand for shark-fin soup makes the same degree of pain occur everyday, as a matter of routine. It’s just that sharks are seen so differently from dogs. Some people don’t even believe that they feel pain.

This does matter, willo.

#48
willo5:44 pm, 16 Feb 12

poetix said :

Sorry, third post.

But I just remembered the justified outcry in Melbourne when someone cut off his dog’s ears without anaesthetic, with a pair of scissors. The demand for shark-fin soup makes the same degree of pain occur everyday, as a matter of routine. It’s just that sharks are seen so differently from dogs. Some people don’t even believe that they feel pain.

This does matter, willo.

poetix said :

Sorry, third post.

But I just remembered the justified outcry in Melbourne when someone cut off his dog’s ears without anaesthetic, with a pair of scissors. The demand for shark-fin soup makes the same degree of pain occur everyday, as a matter of routine. It’s just that sharks are seen so differently from dogs. Some people don’t even believe that they feel pain.

This does matter, willo.

no pal it does not, fins are removed AFTER the shark has been humanely dispatched if done within the framework of australian fisheries legislation, hysteria over what may or may not be done throughout the world is pointless and unproven as far as this thread goes, cutting dogs ears off has f*** all to do with this discussion

#49
dtc5:46 pm, 16 Feb 12

poetix said :

Sorry, third post.

But I just remembered the justified outcry in Melbourne when someone cut off his dog’s ears without anaesthetic, with a pair of scissors. The demand for shark-fin soup makes the same degree of pain occur everyday, as a matter of routine. It’s just that sharks are seen so differently from dogs. Some people don’t even believe that they feel pain.

This does matter, willo.

hmm, does that mean I can’t try dogcatching with a large hook baited with a bit of steak? But I just bought a new reel and need to try out the drag.

#50
willo5:56 pm, 16 Feb 12

poetix said :

Sorry, third post.

But I just remembered the justified outcry in Melbourne when someone cut off his dog’s ears without anaesthetic, with a pair of scissors. The demand for shark-fin soup makes the same degree of pain occur everyday, as a matter of routine. It’s just that sharks are seen so differently from dogs. Some people don’t even believe that they feel pain.

This does matter, willo.

no it does not matter
sharkfins are removed AFTER the shark has been humanely dispatched if done within the framework of australian fisheries legislation
this thread has sweet fa to do with dogs ears being cut off
now make an actual point or shut the hell up

#51
GYW7:09 pm, 16 Feb 12

I agree with so many commenters on this post, particularly Gungahlin Al’s about orange roughies and this one:

Sleaz274 said :

http://www.sharkwater.com/

One of the best documentaries, most likely ever. Watch it before you even bother to comment.

The shark fin provides no taste at all or nutritional value to the soup and it has to be flavoured with chicken broth or similar. If we did on land what we do to the creatures of the sea there would be mass bans, legal action, imprisonment, fines, closures, etc… Long lining, finning, trawling, whaling are disgusting examples of the tragedy of the commons. It is vastly ethically different, it is completely unsustainable, unsanctioned, contains no controls and is killing off entire wild populations of apex predators.

After seeing Sharkwater I went straight home and became a financial member of Sea Shepherd. I also remember seeing a documentary on TV once showing the destruction that goes on on the sea floor. As has been pointed out, if it happened on land where people could see it, people would be absolutely outraged – and they should be.

#52
Jivrashia8:58 pm, 16 Feb 12

Here’s one way to put people off sharks…

Stop the indirect cannibalism.
The surfer that the shark lunched on will be the shark fin soup you dine on.

#53
Die Lefty Scum10:17 pm, 16 Feb 12

I’m with the Chinese on this one. Those maniacal sharks would do the same thing to us if given the chance. Same with the Rhinos.

#54
colourful sydney rac7:58 am, 17 Feb 12

willo said :

poetix said :

Sorry, third post.

But I just remembered the justified outcry in Melbourne when someone cut off his dog’s ears without anaesthetic, with a pair of scissors. The demand for shark-fin soup makes the same degree of pain occur everyday, as a matter of routine. It’s just that sharks are seen so differently from dogs. Some people don’t even believe that they feel pain.

This does matter, willo.

no it does not matter
sharkfins are removed AFTER the shark has been humanely dispatched if done within the framework of australian fisheries legislation
this thread has sweet fa to do with dogs ears being cut off
now make an actual point or shut the hell up

I suggest you educate yourself on the topic before posting anything else. you are completely wrong and are embarrasing yourself.

#55
phototext8:54 am, 17 Feb 12

“no it does not matter sharkfins are removed AFTER the shark has been humanely dispatched if done within the framework of australian fisheries legislation”

That may apply to shark fin sourced from Australian fisheries, but I doubt that most shark fin soup in Australian Chinese restaurants uses shark fins sourced from Australia.

willo, when you order shark fin soup, do you ask where the fins comes from?

#56
urchin9:28 am, 17 Feb 12

i’m all for educating and raising awareness about the consequences of one’s culinary choices. certainly i won’t be eating shark fin soup in the near future (but that is no sacrifice for me as i have never eaten it to my knowledge).

however, i do object to those calling for an immediate ban on it. what’s the point? eliminating canberra’s consumption of shark fins will have absolutely no effect on the shark fin industry. the only thing it will do is give some the warm glow of self-righteousness and further strengthen the popular image of greenie environmentalists as hippie kooks who want to ban everything and go back to living in cages subsisting on a diet of roots and berries. it will accomplish nothing.

more effective by far than a ban would be a campaign to raise awareness among the population (esp. the population that eats shark fins) about the backstory. i.e., how the fins are obtained and the cruelty involved. many people would of their own will stop consuming in that case. some wouldn’t–that’s life, that’s a semi-free society for you.

#57
Captain RAAF9:31 am, 17 Feb 12

JonahBologna said :

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.

Ummm, didn’t recent research reveal shark numbers are on the up?

#58
urchin9:33 am, 17 Feb 12

urchin said :

go back to living in cages subsisting on a diet of roots and berries..

caVes, not cages. though the latter is intriguing too…sort of an environmentalist zoo… hmm…

#59
GardeningGirl10:25 am, 17 Feb 12

I’d heard something about the sharkfin harvesting problem but I didn’t realise any restaurants in Canberra sell it, so now unless they can prove what they use was not obtained in that way I’ll be avoiding those restaurants.

#60
EvanJames10:39 am, 17 Feb 12

urchin said :

however, i do object to those calling for an immediate ban on it. what’s the point? eliminating canberra’s consumption of shark fins will have absolutely no effect on the shark fin industry.

You have to start somewhere. When I’m trying to get-at the free range egg display at Coles in Queanbeyan, which has numbers of peopel clustering around it, checking their eggs before they take them, I’m reminded of how people couldn’t see the point in that, either. Now we are seeing a logical move to banning cage egg production altogether, with large numbers of shoppers opting to pay more and get cruelty-free eggs.

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