How Do We Stop Shark Fin Soup Around the World?

By December 11, 2011Ocean Solutions
Banning Shark Fin Soup Around the World

Can we stop people from eating shark fin soup in other places around the world like China? And will it stop sharks from being finned? Shark fin soup is having a serious impact on shark populations around the world, which have decreased by more than 90% over the past 30 years; a serious blow for Ocean Conservation. Sharks are an apex predator, which is a term used to do describe animals who keep smaller predators in check. If shark populations are gone, then these smaller predators can wipe out more prey populations than the apex predator, which will change the entire habitat in a negative way.

When I Saw Shark Fin Soup for the First Time

I want to share a personal story about my first, and hopefully last, encounter with shark fin soup. I was invited to a wedding reception a few years back where the couple was Chinese. The mood was festive and everyone was having a great time. I always love Chinese food, not the North American version where everything is deep fried, but the authentic Chinese food where texture is sought over taste.

One of the first courses was a soup, which I didn’t have a clue what was in it. My wife turns to me and tells me it was Shark Fin Soup. Just to let you know, I was aware of the Shark Fin Soup issue at this point and I was against it, so you could imagine my surprise when I see the fin soup right there in front of me.

Getting Angry at Food!

Now I’m a laid back kind of guy that doesn’t let too much bother him, but watching people slurp the soup over and over again and grab seconds and thirds was making me angry. So much so, that I had to leave the table during the course. There were so many fins in the soup. All I could think about was the finning process and how many sharks died in order to serve one course at a wedding. I never felt so enraged over food in my life!

Banning Shark Fin Soup Around the World

Asian countries have some of the highest populations in the world and eat shark fin soup, which is decimating the shark populations. How do we stop them from eating shar fins?

Banning Shark Fin Soup in North America

So, I applaud the effort made by cities across Canada to ban shark fin soup, as well as cities across North America. Shark Fin Soup is destroying shark populations around the world and if left unprotected shark populations around the world will become extinct.

However, I always think to myself, shark fin soup is for a culture which thrives on status and shark fin soup is an ultimate status symbol because it is so expensive to order.

Banning Shark Fin Soup Worldwide

There is a population of almost 1 billion Chinese people who want to be respected and show respect toward their family and peers that they will continue to order shark fin soup. We can ban shark fin soup in North America all we want, but the Chinese will continue to eat it.

So the question I ask YOU is:

How doe we stop the Chinese from eating Shark Fin Soup?

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Join the discussion 6 Comments

  • How do we stop the chinese community from eating shark fin soup once and for all? The scientific community needs to step it up…loud & strong…and publish scientific data on the mercury content in shark fin. Show how mercury poisoning causes impotence, birth defects, and other detrimental health concerns. Right now the asian community thinks of us as over reactive animal rights activists and has little repect for western values. They don’t care what we say or do or that they are eating sharks to extinction. They come back with “it’s a culural attack on our heritage” BUT they will care when they know they are being poisoned. Good scientific data on this, and getting that message out to where it counts will matter. Also, shark finning is a tricky business because it is incredibly lucrative, and because it is incredibly lucrative, there is a mafia to contend with & people are afraid. My feeling is, if the buying stopped, the demand would drop but they’d probably move onto another vulunerable species like mantas, which is already happening 🙁

  • Karleen says:

    As much as I am against Shark Fin soup. It is a culture thing. I don’t think we can stop China from eating it. Which is unfortunate. There needs to be an international ban. But how? Even if other countries ban it China will still do it. Then there’s the issue of international waters there’s really no laws out there. So culture aside, there needs to be management for shark fishing. I have no idea what the current management is, I assume not very high. China needs quotas, for individual trips. Also what if they were only allowed to land whole fish, and not fin at sea, and then use the rest of the fish to make soup or something else. Marine Protected Areas for sharks to prohibit fishing in certain areas. What if there were international marine protected areas that prohibited shark fishing beyond the nautical limits? Those are my thoughts for now.

  • ashley perkins says:

    Thank you so much for all that you do! I am a HUGE animal lover and I also love marine life! I love it all from sharks to sea turtles. IT just makes me so livid how the chinese treat animals and how they kill so many sharks and not in a humane way just so they can have some good soup. Thank you for all that you do and keep up the good work!

  • Jan says:

    Im outraged at this new cruelty (new comapred with countless other cruelties) we see everyday on Earth.

    How can we stop this?? Its simple, refuse to eat sharkfin soup. And never ever order it at any restaurant.
    Thats the answer!!!

  • Jan says:

    Be insistent. If you see sharkfin soup on the menu, complain bitterly to the chef there. And refuse to eat there, it is necessary.!

  • Danielle says:

    I am from Singapore, an Asian country and from an environmental club. I too does not agree in killing sharks for their fin and constantly persuading my friends not to eat it. I’m not from china so I can say that china people are a bunch of stubborn idiots who don’t care
    About our earth!

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