Brunei Darussalam


“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


Malaysian State Mulls Shark Finning Ban After Boycott Threat
"The hapless creatures are then either chopped into steaks or callously tossed overboard to bleed to death as they sink into the deeps"

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.


  1. Funny you should ask and I’m happy to quote …

    The benefits of shark fin as documented by old Chinese medical books include the following: rejuvenation, appetite enhancement, nourishing to blood, beneficial to vital energy, kidneys, lungs, bones and many other parts of the body.

    The more traditional person will swear to the benefits as claimed. On a radio show when the owner of a shark fin restaurant was asked about the health benefits of shark fin, he claimed that he consumed it daily and thus maintained his youthful appearance. An elderly shark fin trader reasoned that, since fins have had long years of exercise in the sea, there is no doubt that they are good for the bones and muscles of the consumer.

    However, there seems to be an increasing number of people who question the claimed benefits of fins. They are of the opinion that fins are over priced and over rated. Their main purpose as luxury products is to satisfy the vanity of those who can afford them.
    — FAO Corporate Document Repository

    Dubious health benefits at an extravagant price tag is how I would describe shark fin soup.


  2. Shark’s fin while prized for its slippery and glutinous texture actually and rather disappointingly, taste bland. The soup is flavoured with chicken stock, sesame oil, ginger, chicken breast, shrimps, soy sauce and a dash of black vinegar or brandy. So you see, very little in way of taste is lost replacing the fins with crab meat.

    So in short, Greg, shark’s fin on its own is tasteless and almost in a metaphorical way, if enough people say no to shark fin soup, it’ll eventually be worthless!


  3. Fake shark fin soup is nothing new either. Aside from crab meat (which of course tastes nothing like the real deal) substitutes such as glass noodles and ‘artificial fins’ made of pork gelatin by Japanese food-processing company Nikko Yuba Seizo is said to be convincing. Now, putting the situation in renewed perspective, not only is the consumption of genuine shark fin soup deemed unethical, its pork-based substitute has made it non-halal too, an inconvenience to Muslim guests even at a Chinese wedding. With so much food controversy going on right now (milk and veggies that contain excessive amounts of melamine), I suspect we’re just seeing the tip of the ice berg.


  4. Very disturbing how long this shark killing has been going on. I guess it really just sends a message to how self destructive people are to this planet regarding many other species of flaura and fauna for a simple luxury.
    Great cause!


  5. if you have not tried sharkfins, you should before you comment. I don’t think there is anything wrong with sharkfins consumption. They are created for consumption….why else do you they exist? Think about the meat the western world eats, isn’t it as good as shark fins? are we being self-righteous here?


    1. I believe that any one who contributes to shark finning should suffer the same fate as the finned sharks! Lets chop off your arms and legs and throw you on the ground and see how painful it is and how long you live with no way to get up or move around!


  6. sgdavid

    There’s a world of difference between “I haven’t had any for a while” and “he misses shark fins” the latter of which I never said or crossed my mind. Good try though trying to “reverse solicit” just so your own actions are justified! 😛


  7. Yeah, but what about all the shark fin soup lovers out there, huh? Huh? How are they supposed to get mercury poisoning if they can’t consume vast quantities of shark fins? 🙂


  8. When I have a wedding shoot, I would grab a bite in advance of the banquet for a number of reasons. Though the bride and groom had occasionally insisted that I got fed, it would be impolite not to. On other occasions where the I hadn’t been asked, I avoided the temptation because of the amount of MSG that’s normally used in wedding menu. So much so that I have an almost immediate reaction that would make the entire evening rather uncomfortable to work. My lips would dry out and I would find myself constantly looking for water and you know what happens when you have too much water! I’ve found the soup to be the biggest contributor although the restaurant denied having added any MSG.


  9. Yeah, but what about all the shark fin soup lovers out there, huh? Huh? How are they supposed to get mercury poisoning if they can’t consume vast quantities of shark fins?

    A recent article I came across in a magazine expressing concerns that some fish are contaminated with PCBs and mercury.

    Doctors think the health benefits outweigh the potential for harm if you’re eating it only twice a week. If you’re worried, steer clear of swordfish, shark, deep sea perch and catfish. Pregnant women, nursing mothers and young children should be especially cautious of the mercury in these fish. There is virtually no mercury in fish oil supplements as the oil purification process removes heavy metals. It’s also virtually impossible to derive too much Omega-3 from your diet.

    As far as shark fin soup is concerned and whether the fins are contaminated with mercury or not, the average Chinese family (and my statistics is by no means accurate) would probably receive an invite once in three months unless you’re a socialite in which case the frequency goes up significantly!


  10. Now this post strikes an interesting note to me, being an avid scuba diver 🙂

    Not only does the disappearance of sharks destroy the marine ecosystems but to those who are consuming sharks fin soup, do you have any idea how they are killed? Fins are the only edible part of their bodies. So what happens? Sharks are literally finned alive and thrown back into the ocean where they wait to die. They either drown or bleed to death or are eaten by other fish. That is really pitiful! I believe there are lots of video footage circulating the web on this.

    As discussed earlier, shark fins are actually tasteless and it’s the chicken stock in the soup that gives the flavor. Furthermore its mercury content is toxic to one’s body. Mercury is a neurotoxin that can cause extensive damage to the nervous system and to a fetus.

    If everyone could adopt the attitude of “it only takes one to make a difference in the world”, a decrease in consumption of sharks fins would mean a reduction in the demand for shark fins in the market and as more and more people realize that, demand levels could reach so low that hopefully one day, it would deem pointless to continue supplying shark fins.

    Say NO to Shark fins!


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