Ocean News: Chinese New Year Shark Fin Soup and Shark Hybrids

By January 24, 2012 Ocean News
Chinese New Year Dish - Shark Fin Soup

Shark Fin Soup for Chinese New Year

Our first story today brings us to China where the country, along with other Asian countries celebrate the Lunar New Year, or as we know, the Chinese New Year. The holiday has a similar impact to the North American Thanksgiving or Christmas.

I bring up this big holiday because a traditional feast occurs on this night in a banquet style fashion including 10 course meals or more of traditional Chinese food such as various styles of dumplings, noodles, meats and seafoods. Of course, the ever so popular Shark Fin Soup is also served during this celebration.

Chinese New Year Dish - Shark Fin Soup

Shark Fin Soup is responsible for killing millions of sharks per year.

Now if you don’t know much about the issue surrounding Shark Fin Soup then I suggest you watch my previous video on the issue and how we can deal with it. In the meantime, here a brief background.

Shark fin soup is a popular dish in Asian countries which consists of a beef or chicken broth with a shark fin in it. The fins are cut off the sharks at sea while the shark is still alive. The shark is then thrown back into the sea – alive – and the fins are sold for a very high price. Over the years, Shark Fin Soup has become very popular and more and more people have ordered the dish that represents a higher status. Unfortunately, this increase has come at a great cause, whereby many shark populations have decreased due the finning.

Every year millions of sharks are killed to support the Shark Fin Soup industry, which is often served during major celebrations such as weddings, and New Years parties.

Many Asian people have stopped eating Shark Fin Soup as they become more aware of the issue surrounding the dish. Education is key in this situation, so it’s time to Speak Up and Spread the Word!

Sharks are facing multiple Ocean issues including finning, water pollution, and climate change.

Sharks Hybrids For a Better World

Speaking of Sharks and Climate Change, a recent story in web news surfaced last week, which observed the first ever hybrid shark. The hybrids are a cross between the common black tip shark and the Australian black tip shark. The hybrid is said to represent a stronger species in that it might have a better tolerance to a wider range of temperature as the Australian Black tip is more abundant in sub-tropical waters and the Common black tip are more abundant in tropical waters. The new species is said that the sharks might be hybridizing because they are adapting to warmer temperatures, a side effect of climate change.

Hybrid Sharks found in AustraliaOf course, once the authors mentioned Climate Change, the press jumped all over it and following closely were climate change deniers. Blog posts for media outlets light up like a Christmas tree stating that climate change was not real and it was a political scam trying to defunct religious views.

David Shiffman, aka WhySharkMatters a blogger for a reputable website called Southern Fried Science and a shark expert broke the study down and demystified the here say of the study. He mentions that the study just found the animals and only made assumptions as to why the species were breeding. Even though it was the first shark hybridizing recorded, there can be many more out there now that we don’t know of OR it might have happened in the past that produced a species today.

Essentially, David Shiffman said that more research is necessary to answer some of the questions in which the media has tried to answer such as the sharks are changing to adapt to climate change.

And before we go I want to leave you with the question of the day:

Do you think climate change will cause the extinction of some sharks species and give birth to new hybrid sharks?

Let us know what you think in the comments below and SPEAK UP for the Ocean and its sharks!

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