Spare the Shark’s fin, save the planet

My brother watched Sharkwater and it was the impetus for him to go back to being vegetarian (all of us in the family were at one point fully vegetarian for a few years, but most of us kids have dropped out of full time vegetarianism – except my younger sister who became and is still a raw vegan!).

I watched Sharkwater too, and now I really don’t feel like eating any seafood at all…

I think I have to keep watching documentaries like Sharkwater and Joaquim Phoenix’s Earthlings and maybe it will help keep me on the straight and narrow vegetarian path… the problem is life is so stressful and out of control that I turn to comfort eating – which means lots of Meat Is Murder….Tasty Tasty Murder….

Not good.

Anyway, his blog is here : Confessions of an Ex-Meat/Sharksfin Eater

Genting Resort in Singapore has also decided not to serve Sharksfin in its upcoming resort.  That’s a HUGE thing.  If only more hotels and restaurants took a stand not to serve Sharksfin and had a reason why, I think it would make a big difference in attitudes.

I can’t believe that people in this day and age still have sharksfin on their wedding banquet menus.  OK one might say that the sharksfin is probably ‘fake’ as the real stuff is too expensive anyway – but why even perpetuate the myth that having sharksfin at your dinner is a status symbol?

It’s not even healthy – shark’s fin is merely cartilage, which is like eating soft bone. There’s no nutritional value there.  Neither is there any taste to shark’s fin – it tastes like nothing.  What sharksfin soup tastes like is basically the chicken or seafood they use to make the broth.  And lastly it’s actually quite toxic.  As sharks are at the top of their food chain , the concentration of toxins in the sea in their body is very high – tests have found that sharks fin have high levels of mercury – which is found to cause male infertility.

How ironic.  Asian men eating sharksfin and then countering the effects of the toxins in sharksfin with Tiger penis .

Why is this post called ‘Spare the Sharksfin Save the Planet’?  Sharks are top Predators and therefore they are designed by nature to breed slowly (otherwise, with too large a top predator population, the marine ecosystem would be unbalanced).  With finning, shark populations are decreasing drastically.  Without a healthy top predator population, marine animal populations which the sharks feed on will explode in numbers causing a shift in the underwater ecosystem – what effect will this have on the planet in general?

No one knows for sure, but I don’t think I want to find out.

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4 thoughts on “Spare the Shark’s fin, save the planet

  1. Talking about toxins, its not just in sharkfins but in most farm animals. Do growth hormones injected in poultry and cows have a hand in the rising obesity rate? I have my suspicions. As they say, we are what we eat. Anyway great article there.

  2. Pity they can’t farm sharks (at least, have never heard of it), the way they do salmon and prawns. As you point out, Tinytapir, there’s not that much taste anyway, so farmed sharksfin should substitute for the wild variety very easily.

    Then again, we might not want to encourage any practice that encourages the eating of sharksfin, whatever the provenance…

  3. Damien > Well, I think rising obesity rate has a lot to do with how no one walks anymore and everyone will drive even 100m to go anywhere. Plus also it’s cheaper to eat chemicals, empty carbs + fat than it is to eat lean healthy food nowadays. I do think the increased hormones and chemicals in food (and the environment) generally make us much less resilient than the generations before us.

    Cloudsters > I don’t think shark farming is possible. Sharks, because they are top predators take a long time to reach maturity and produce few pups and the pups that are born usually fight with each other and kill a significant number of their siblings before they reach maturity. Gestation periods can also be as long as humans. I think it would be too expensive to have a shark farm (no one even knows if they will breed in captivity) – much more convenient to just fin the ones out in the wild.

    There’s no nutritional or gastronomic benefit to eating sharks fin – better that no one eats it all.

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