“I pledged to stop eating shark fin soup and will not do so under all circumstances” — Yao Ming, NBA Basketball star with the Houston Rockets | Page 148 Issue 1/2011 Asian Geographic magazine
© ASIAN Geographic
Between 100 and 200 million sharks are killed for their fins, annually. Sharks have been at the top of the ocean’s feeding chain for 450 million years, their disappearance will inevitably lead to an ecological disaster in the seas …. This cruel and unreasonable massacre is pushing the great fish to the very edge of extinction; threatening to empty our oceans and destroy marine ecosystems. — ASIAN Geographic
… Bill Clinton banned finning in the US and with US-registered vessels but not foreign-registered vessels. Shark fins cannot be imported into the US without the associated carcass. In 1991, the percentage of sharks killed by US longline fisheries in the Pacific Ocean for finning was approximately 3 percent. By 1998, that percentage had grown to 60 percent. Between 1991 and 1998, the number of sharks retained by the Hawaii-based swordfish and tuna longline fishery had increased from 2,289 to 60,857 annually, and by 1998, an estimated 98 percent of these sharks were killed for their fins. — ASIAN Geographic | Page 148 Issue 1/2011
In support of ASIAN Geographic’s Online Pledge Against Shark Fin Soup, Make an online pledge to stop eating shark fin soup just as I have. It all begins with a single individual and You can make a difference!
The biggest offender and highest consumption of shark fin soup is Chinese weddings where the delicacy has traditionally been served for centuries. As a professional photographer, I have had mixed bag of clients who served shark fin soup and those who didn’t. It is not unimaginable to not have this delicacy as crab meat for instance can take its place. Whether for reasons of economics or simply doing the right thing, opting for an alternative menu sends out a strong message on the couple’s most significant dinner.
“They say it’s already (served) so they might as well eat it. But I say if you do not eat it, people will stop serving.“
I have found links to couples who chose not to serve shark fin soup on their wedding night. In my quest for more information, Hong Kong Disneyland dropped the dish from its wedding banquet menu after international pressure threatening to boycott its parks worldwide.
- The Straits Times: Shucks, no fin?
- A Message to China: Stop Eating Shark Fin Soup!
- ThailandLife.com: Stop the Cruelty Towards Sharks
- CDNN: For status-hungry Chinese, shark fin soup is an acquired distaste