1000 Flowers for the Planet - #595 Reject Shark Finning Practices
Approximately 73 million sharks are killed by humans every year, with most of them being killed only for their fin. The rest of the carcass is thrown back into the ocean to rot as if oceans were giant rubbish dumps purely there for the convenience of mankind and his unwanted trash. With this kind of attitude, we have been responsible for sending one third of all open ocean shark species to the brink of extinction. Yay us!
Shark fins are taken as a food source, to make shark fin soup. The following quote comes from
Shark fin soup is traditionally served at formal occasions in Chinese culture to symbolise both the wealth of the host and respect for their guests. With an increasingly affluent Chinese middle class, the demand for shark fin soup is driving a 5% annual increase in the shark fin trade, putting additional pressure on a range of shark species, many of which are already considered endangered.
The issue wouldn’t be quite so bad if the sharks were taken whole and every part of the animal used for food. Just to grab a living creature, cut off its fin and let it sink to the bottom of the ocean is not okay on several levels. If we take any creature’s life it should be for food, and the whole animal should be used. When we take an animal it should be by using cruelty-free methods – imagine these sharks sinking, live, to the bottom of the ocean where they drown. If we used all of the shark we could reduce pressure on other ocean species as food sources.
It’s not the shark fin soup that’s the evil in this practice – it’s the method of killing and the amount of waste that needs to be addressed, and if that means public pressure by not frequenting restaurants that sell shark fin soup, or writing to government bodies, or organising protest campaigns through animal rights groups, then this is what we should do – for the sake of the sharks.