the amount of shark caught. However, as shark meat is inferior to that of most commercially exploited fish species, particularly tuna and billfish, the profits to be made from shark meat are naturally much lower. So storage space, combined with the increasing value of shark fin, has made it economically advantageous to discard the shark bodies whilst retaining the valuable fins. Just imagine having your hands and feet cut off and then being left to die! It is of little wonder that there is a growing Anti Finning movement.
What’s the Problem?
Is this a serious problem, hell yes; 100 million sharks are killed each year by humans and globally a reduction of over 80% in the last 20 years. You don’t have to be geniuses to work out that spells Extinction and incase you haven’t heard Extinction Lasts Forever! The prevalence of shark finning is serious enough for the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to have made recommendations for ending it. These recommendations might become laws one day; hopefully it will not be too late for the shark. The most effective requirement would be for all sharks to be landed whole, with no exceptions. This would not only simplify enforcement and eliminate cheating but it would also provide very good fisheries data, since sharks with their fins attached are far easier to identify by species.
MadMermaids® and the MadMermaid Design are Registered Trade Marks of MadMermaids Scuba Ltd.
All Designs are copyright property© MadMermaids Scuba Ltd. All rights reserved.
Web Design and content is copyright © MadMermaids Scuba Ltd. 2006
"Stop Shark Finning Don't Eat Fin Soup!" T-shirt Design and the "Fin Soup a Tiananmen Square Meal" T-shirt Design
MadMermaids Scuba dive wear has designed these Anti Shark Finning T-shirts to say that the Shark Finning Massacre for Fin Soup needs to Stop Now, if not sharks will become extinct.
and Fin Soup
Shark Fin Soup
Have you ever wondered how to make fin soup? The fins are slow cooked for ages until the shark fin separates into needles of cartilage that look like clear noodles. The irony is that the fin itself has no taste, but it's served with a broth of chicken, ham and shiitake that it absorbs.
Shark fin soup is traditionally regarded in Chinese medicine as a tonic along with Rhino Horn, Seahorse and Tiger penis. Now don’t get me wrong I’m all for Eastern medicines but only the areas that don't make animals extinct, such as acupuncture! Scientifically speaking, shark fin has little nutritional value; in fact, it may even be harmful to health over the long term, as shark fins have been found to contain high levels of mercury.
Shark Finning by definition is the on-board removal of shark fins, the remainder of the shark is then discarded at sea; the shark usually survives this ordeal until it drowns in the heap of other finned sharks under the fishing boat or is eaten by other predatory fish. If the whole Shark was used the problem would not be so huge or as vile as space on board the fishing vessel would limit
Personally I would like to see a ban on Fin Soup Internationally, my logic is..
If you can't cook Fin Soup, you can't sell Fin Soup, so you won't buy Shark Fin and if nobody buys Shark Fin, nobody (except the occasional sicko) will want to hack the Fins from living Sharks. As the WildAid slogan says "When the buying stops the Killing can too". If it is not possible to totally ban Fin Soup I would like to see it become socially unfashionable and unacceptable like smoking in the cinema, wearing mink coats and Ivory bracelets. Remember the Fir coat paint throwing days? Maybe the dinner tables should be turned on the soup eaters! Divers are reporting a perceptible decline in shark sightings in many parts of the world and some have reported seeing mounds of finned shark’s carcasses on the sea-bed reminiscent of Holocaust images from concentration camps. That’s not the sort of thing you want to log in your log book after a dive! A Sharks Fin cutting through the water is a powerful image, it envokes fear in most people as we have flash backs to the Jaws films. Images of Shark Fins cut from living sharks reminds me of something Cpt. Paul Watson founder of Seasheperd Conservation Society once said, it was something like, "We don't have to look into the depths of the Ocean to image what murderous monsters look like, we just have to look in the mirror". It is a Massacre, conservationists and divers the world over need to stand up against it and get active, join a conservation group, tell people not to eat Fin soup, do something… however small. That is why I designed the Stop Shark Finning, Ban Fin Soup T-shirt and the Massacre Anti Shark Finning T-shirt which says “Fin Soup a Tiananmen Square Meal” in the outlined shape of a sharks fin. The shark massacre and the Stop Shark Finning Anti Finning T-shirts and other dive wear is available from our online shop.
So why the explosion in demand for shark fins?
It is mainly to do with shark fin soup. Yes that tasteless goo previously described... Fin soup used to be a rare and very expensive delicacy in China. As the Asian economies grow, in particular that of mainland China, a middle class has emerged hungry for shark fin soup; they eat it almost as a status symbol. So what was a rare and expensive delicacy is now just part of the buffet at most weddings and corporate functions. This symbol of luxury and wealth is a luxury that the people in coastal communities in the developing world who depend upon shark meat for protein cannot afford. The sharks threatened by extinction certainly cannot afford this delicacy! Living sharks are enjoyed by recreational divers, bringing millions of dollars in foreign exchange to countries in both the developed and developing world. By contrast, the trade in shark fins has created a handful of millionaires in Hong Kong and Taiwan.