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Author Topic: Campaign against shark's fin  (Read 11523 times)

Sparkle

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Campaign against shark's fin
« on: 18 Aug 10, 23:40 »
Campaign against shark's fin

HONG KONG - WHEN Steven Leung and Sylvia Cheung celebrated their nuptials in this southern Chinese financial center recently, they lavished their guests with one sumptuous dish after another - bird nest soup, lobster, abalone.

One traditional dish, however, was missing from the 13-course Cantonese banquet. The newlyweds chose not to serve shark fin soup.

'I saw the cruelty in shark slaughtering in online videos. The way the fish is dumped back into the water - it is just inhumane,' Mr Leung said, referring to the practice of hacking off the fins of sharks, then setting them free.

The Hong Kong couple are part of a growing grass-roots movement in this global hub of shark fin consumption that aims to remove the staple of gourmet Chinese cuisine from restaurant menus. 'Shark fin is not a necessity at banquets, as long as guests are well-treated and there is good food,' said Ms Cheung. 'We have great substitutes for the soup that are equally as prestigious and exquisite.' For centuries, shark fin, usually served as soup, has been a coveted delicacy in Chinese cooking, extolled for its supposed ability to boost sexual potency, enhance skin quality, increase one's energy (or 'qi'), prevent heart diseases and lower cholesterol.

To prepare for soup, dried fin first is soaked in water overnight, then boiled for several hours to soften the cartilage and remove impurities. It then is cooked in a rich chicken broth with salted ham, mushrooms, dried scallops and abalone. Shark fin itself is tasteless, but has a slippery and glutinous texture.

It is an especially cherished menu item in wealthy Hong Kong, a pricey status symbol for its materialistic and status-conscious people. Depending on the quantity and the quality of the fin in the soup, the dish can cost from US$10 (S$13.57) to US$150 a bowl. -- AP


http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/Asia/Story/STIStory_567824.html

diver-hloc

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Re: Campaign against shark's fin
« Reply #1 on: 19 Aug 10, 09:01 »
Personally.... I have not eaten sharkfins since I've started diving.... not even on my Sister's wedding....  ;)

But with the rising income level in mainland China..... and the fact that most Chinese will consider SharkFin as an important 'FACE' giving dish during weddings dinners.... the shark's futures are bleak indeed.... :-\ 
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Viking

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Re: Campaign against shark's fin
« Reply #2 on: 19 Aug 10, 11:31 »
It's almost impossible to stop people from consuming shark’s fin. I personally think the way to go is to provide them with alternative like expensive crab meat or synthetic shark’s fin instead. The main reason of consuming shark’s fin, similar to other luxury items is purely to satisfy the vanity of those who can afford them. Shark fins on its own is simply a tasteless fiber and useless food source as they have no known nutritional value. It’s the broth in the soup that makes a shark fins soup. If you serve the soup with a similar fiber material and texture, no one can tell the difference.

I am not sure if anyone has invented artificial fins that are similar to the real thing. But if it’s already out there, it should be sold at exorbitant price and market as luxury item, similar to the real fins. Again… to satisfy the vanity of those who can afford them.


xariatay

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Re: Campaign against shark's fin
« Reply #3 on: 19 Aug 10, 12:23 »
Campaign against shark's fin

HONG KONG - WHEN Steven Leung and Sylvia Cheung celebrated their nuptials in this southern Chinese financial center recently, they lavished their guests with one sumptuous dish after another - bird nest soup, lobster, abalone.

One traditional dish, however, was missing from the 13-course Cantonese banquet. The newlyweds chose not to serve shark fin soup.

'I saw the cruelty in shark slaughtering in online videos. The way the fish is dumped back into the water - it is just inhumane,' Mr Leung said, referring to the practice of hacking off the fins of sharks, then setting them free.

-- AP
http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/Asia/Story/STIStory_567824.html

Kudos to the newlyweds who refuse to bow the external pressure!!! :D
"referring to the practice of hacking off the fins of sharks, then setting them free. " This report could be better written... Setting them free??? Should be let the sharks die slowly/drown...  :P

xariatay

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Re: Campaign against shark's fin
« Reply #4 on: 19 Aug 10, 16:40 »
 ;D :D I have good news to share! Especially with those who like sushi...
On Monday, my friend & I went to Sakae Sushi for lunch we ordered a Geisha Gozen Set (plus other items), it was good. Imagine our shock & dismay to find shark-fin halfway through the Chawanmusi! We asked a service staff & she confirmed that there was shark fin... (I boycott wedding banquets that serve shark fin & recently even refused to attend my cousin's, when she didn't remove the shark fin...) So I was hopping mad! & contacted Sakae Sushi through their website's feedback to ask them to indicate items that serve shark fin...

And just now, Sakae Sushi's Ms Joreen Wun confirmed that Sakae Sushi only uses IMITATION shark fin!  ;D Yeah, we can continue to support Sakae Sushi!

Smurfette

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Re: Campaign against shark's fin
« Reply #5 on: 20 Aug 10, 19:41 »
That's good to know!
Kudos to Sakae Sushi for saying no to Shark-Fin! :D

diver-hloc

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Re: Campaign against shark's fin
« Reply #6 on: 20 Aug 10, 23:37 »
That's good to know!
Kudos to Sakae Sushi for saying no to Shark-Fin! :D


Hate to be the bringer of bad news.... but COST is likely the reason why Sakae Sushi doesn't use real shark fins  :P

But never the less.... still better than nothing  ;D
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SnapperJohn

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Re: Campaign against shark's fin
« Reply #7 on: 21 Aug 10, 15:13 »
some ppl are surprisingly stubborn abt their preference for shark fins even though what are served for normal dinner functions are those cheap types.
The company i am working at holds annual get together for over 200 staffs for dinner f/b bowling. And i have refused to attend and stating my reasons for not attending is mainly because the organiser insists on having shark's fin in the menu.
What i observed abt these ppl are, they are low level employees that cannot afford to eat shark's fin on their own (thus having or ordering them on company's account).

Sparkle

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Re: Campaign against shark's fin
« Reply #8 on: 21 Aug 10, 19:11 »
I totally agree with u SnapperJohn.

There is basically no reason for companies to include Shark Fins in their Menu especially when their employee has highlighted to them about the issue of shark fins.
I went to SHAW Organisation Chinese New Year lunch this year in Shangri-La and was very pleased to know that they do not serve Shark Fins in their menu.
They say no to Shark Fins plus they brought in the movie "SHARK WATER" some years back.


A hammerhead shark finned on board.


And left for dead on the sea bed.
« Last Edit: 21 Aug 10, 19:20 by Sparkle »

Sparkle

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Shark Finning: Shark's fin soup-eat without guilt
« Reply #9 on: 21 Aug 10, 19:17 »
Read the article below on Shark Finning: Shar's fin soup-eat without guilt by By Giam Choo Hoo, For The Straits Times on 1 Dec 06. Shame On him!

REPORTS which attribute shark decimation to the consumption of shark's fin soup show that Western activists have succeeded in convincing the public that sharks are killed for their fins only, and that all fins are cruelly cut off while the sharks are still alive.

They paint a distorted picture. There is no reason to be ashamed when ordering the popular soup at a restaurant.

Sharks are caught in virtually all parts of the world - by fishermen in poor countries and by large fishing fleets from developed countries. No state has banned shark fishing and only a few have set limits in certain areas. Indeed, some members of the European Union are catching, consuming and trading sharks on a big scale.

The Shark Alliance points out that 'Spain, Portugal, the UK and France are among the world's top 20 shark-fishing nations that are responsible for 80 per cent of the global catch'.

Despite the strongly declared objectives of the Fisheries Commission in Brussels, there are very few restrictions on fishing for sharks in European waters.

The meat of dogfishes, smoothhounds, catsharks, skates and rays is in high demand by European consumers. The situation in Canada and the United States is similar: The blue shark is sought after as a sport fish while the porbeagle, mako and spiny dogfish are part of the commercial fishery. Other species are caught, either targeted or as by-catch that is unintentional or incidental, during fishing operations.

It is a serious problem in most European countries. Fishing fleets targeting tuna and swordfish take substantial numbers of high-sea sharks . Nonetheless, sharks are not as endangered as other wildlife, for example, the sturgeon, which is sought after for caviar.

There are over 400 species of sharks, and to claim they are on the verge of extinction is to make a sweeping but inaccurate generalisation equivalent to claiming that all birds are endangered.

The UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wildlife Fauna and Flora (CITES) lists only three sharks in its Appendix II. The consumption and trade of species in this category is subject to certification. The three are the basking shark, the great white shark and the whale shark.

The remaining 397 shark species are not classified at all and can be freely traded and caught.

Fins are by-products of the fishing industry. Though they are valuable, sharks are not normally killed for their fins. A fishing fleet specialising in catching sharks only for their fins would quickly go out of business.

The perception that it is common practice to kill sharks for only their fins - and to cut them off whilst the sharks are still alive - is wrong. No one denies that such cruelty exists. The footage of 'live-finning' has been shown all over the world.

However, these sensational pictures obscure the fact that many within the industry are against such practices. The vast majority of fins in the market are taken from sharks after their death. This is the preliminary finding of a review made with the assistance of shark experts, fishermen, captains of big fishing ships and representatives of fishery departments, the fishing industry, fish markets and fishing ports.

The barbaric practice of 'live-finning' is done by some long-line fishing boats, principally targeting tuna. When they get the less valuable sharks in their hooks, they cut the fins and throw the sharks into the water to make room for tuna. This deplorable practice is outlawed in many countries.

The anti-fin group has misrepresented the facts. By aggressively flooding print, TV and Internet media with selective images, they have portrayed an untruth: that all fins are derived from 'live-finning'. Their aim? They want shark's fin soup to be shunned.

The truth is this: Sharks will continue to be caught and killed on a wide scale by the more organised and sophisticated fishing nations. Targeting shark's fin soup will not stop this accidental catch.

The fins from these catches will be thrown away or turned into animal feed and fertilisers if shark's fin soup is shunned. The practice to salvage and sell the sharks' fins gives value to discards from the fishing industry of the world, benefiting both poor and rich countries .

I am not an advocate for greater consumption of shark's fin soup. I am saying that it is not a shameful culture.

The writer is a member of the Cites Animals Committee and a member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, England.

Click on this link to read responds from Straits Times Readers:

http://www.wildsingapore.com/news/20061112/061201-2.htm#st7