A while back, I had tweeted that I will boycott all weddings that serve shark fin soup. Yet when the time came when a relatively close friend of mine decided to serve that dish at their wedding, I let myself down and failed to stay true to my words.
Yesterday at the wedding lunch when the dish was served, I felt truly upset. Especially when I saw another friend who had always been supportive to saying no to shark fin soup happily slurp down the soup while agreeing that the fin added no benefits nor taste to the soup while another said that the shark would have died in vain if they didn’t eat it.
It makes me really sad that the educated are unable to see reason and make logical choices. A lack of knowledge could be shrugged off. But how is it that people still go ahead with certain choices when they are fully aware about the finning situation?
Very briefly (all these taken from the web):
1) Shark finning refers to the removal and retention of shark fins and the discard at sea of the carcass. The shark is most often still alive when it is tossed back into the water. Unable to swim, the shark slowly sinks toward the bottom where it is eaten alive by other fish.
(Photos taken from: http://blog.nativefoods.com/ and http://www.wildasia.org/)
Shark specialists estimate that 100 million sharks are killed for their fins, annually.
Something to think about, how would YOU like it if someone cut off your limbs and left you to bleed to death on the ground?
2) More importantly, shark fin is completely tasteless and has no nutritional value. In fact there are a number of articles that actually share the high level of toxins found in sharks. Shark fin soup is a tradition but it isn’t essential. Try serving an imitation of shark fin soup if you have to. I’m sure few would be able to tell the difference.
3) Sharks are essential to the ecosystem and they help regulate the quantity and health of other marine life. Being at the top of the food chain, they play a crucial role to ensure that all parts of the food chain lower down are controlled. Currently, the massive quantity of sharks being harvested are depleting shark populations faster than their reproductive abilities can replenish populations.
I guess if farming sharks was a viable option and we could do away with the cruelty of finning. Yes by all means, go ahead. I have nothing against having sharks as a food source. I am however, against finning. A good documentary to watch would be Sharkwater and I strongly recommend watching it.
In conclusion, I pledge to turn down all wedding invitations that are serving shark fin soup. And I shall stay true to my words.