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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?
16
Sleaz274 11:45 am
16 Feb 12
#

http://www.sharkwater.com/

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

“Tank bangers” on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5HXyOgz2YA

A light hearted look through a scuba divers eyes but with the same message. Hope that link works

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.

This kind of thing reminds me why I hate people, we are simply out of control naked apes with a god complex. http://www.earthlings.com

Try and justify it anyway you want. It’s an impossible position.

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17
youngentob 11:58 am
16 Feb 12
#

Interesting comments everybody! For me, this is not an issue of eating meat or being a vegetarian. I eat meat. The problem with shark finning is 1) cruelty, 2) the largely unregulated and unsustainable nature of this industry, 3) the ecological consequences of removing top-predators from ecosystems and 4) the very real hazards to our health from eating sharks or any other animal at the top of the food chain– you can read more about that here… http://www.sharksavers.org/en/education/sharks-are-in-trouble/381-sharkfinsoup.html

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18
Sleaz274 12:05 pm
16 Feb 12
#

dtc said :

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.

You are an idiot, the reason there are “huge” numbers of shark in sydney harbour is because Australia has very strong protections on sharks and marine reserves. During the warmer months sharks follow the schooling fish into shallower water and end up closer to beaches, harbours, estuaries etc… It is also more likely that marine reserves are actually working and increases in numbers are from a frighteningly low base.

Just because there are 300 more sharks around Sydney does not replace the millions (literally) taken elsewhere (costa rica, galapagos, chile, indonesia, south east asia, indian ocean, philippines, pacific, atlantic, the world). All because the fish stocks in those countries are so low and the price of shark fin comparatively high that poor fisherman and illegal cartels can make big $$$ off the chinese market for what would historically have been a complete extravangant luxury for rich people to show off how rich they were.

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19
fromthecapital 12:22 pm
16 Feb 12
#

Disinformation said :

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.

But we can discern between cage and free range eggs…

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20
Mysteryman 12:32 pm
16 Feb 12
#

neanderthalsis said :

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.

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

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21
jsm2090 12:38 pm
16 Feb 12
#

Agree. The only way to curb the demand is to ban the dish. The ocean is exploited far too easily, because we can’t see the effects of our actions. Being of Chinese descent, I often come across dubious dishes like this at festivals and special occasions. They don’t interest me, because you can’t rule out the fact that the ingredients were obtained in a cruel fashion. The argument of tradition and culture is irrelevant and anachronistic; the Spanish will eventually live without their bullfighting, the Japanese without their whaling and the Chinese without shark fins.

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22
Gobbo 1:10 pm
16 Feb 12
#

Australians eat lots of shark. That is what the flake from the fish and chip shop is.

As long as we are eating the rest, then the fin should also be utilised. However, no slaughter for the fin alone should be undertaken.

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23
EvanJames 1:25 pm
16 Feb 12
#

jsm2090 said :

The argument of tradition and culture is irrelevant and anachronistic; the Spanish will eventually live without their bullfighting, the Japanese without their whaling and the Chinese without shark fins.

And the Aboriginals without their turtles roasted alive in their shells.

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24
HenryBG 1:33 pm
16 Feb 12
#

Cool, thanks for that, I intend to get me some Shark Fin Soup ASAP.

I really miss shark fin dumplings which are no longer served at Yum Cha as they were my favourite.

Not so long ago, they managed to make Tuna dolphin-friendly, so hopfully rather than this authoritarian approach by little people trying to feel big of banning stuff, the people who care about sharks so much can figure out a way to ensure the whole shark is used instead of just the fins?

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25
HenryBG 1:34 pm
16 Feb 12
#

jsm2090 said :

Agree. The only way to curb the demand is to ban the dish.

You curb your own demand, and I’ll take care of mine. Busybody.

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26
neanderthalsis 1:35 pm
16 Feb 12
#

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.

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27
qbngeek 1:45 pm
16 Feb 12
#

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.

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28
MERC600 1:49 pm
16 Feb 12
#

sm2090 said :

” Agree. The only way to curb the demand is to ban the dish.”

Hell I eat a lot of those chicken ‘buffalo wing’ things. So they hack off the wings then let the thing go free ?.

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29
jsm2090 2:15 pm
16 Feb 12
#

HenryBG said :

Cool, thanks for that, I intend to get me some Shark Fin Soup ASAP.

I really miss shark fin dumplings which are no longer served at Yum Cha as they were my favourite.

Not so long ago, they managed to make Tuna dolphin-friendly, so hopfully rather than this authoritarian approach by little people trying to feel big of banning stuff, the people who care about sharks so much can figure out a way to ensure the whole shark is used instead of just the fins?

They still serve shark fin dumplings! They take their name from their appearance; The inside is usually pork or prawn mince. Tuna production is a whole different kettle of fish, with it’s own serious problems…….

Oh and +1 to what qbngeek said. The produce from the farmers markets is cheaper, tastes better, lasts longer, and has travelled fewer kms. Well worth the inconvenience of going out there IMHO.

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30
dtc 2:37 pm
16 Feb 12
#

Sleaz274 said :

You are an idiot.

And you need to learn that sometimes statements are not intended to be taken seriously. You think I dont realise there is a slight difference between the number of sharks in Sydney harbour and, well, what is happening in the entire rest of the world?

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