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Old 31.05.2012, 11:25
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Shark fin soup. Delicacy or animal abuse?

I am sure many "fans" here are waiting for me to start a topic.

Some days ago, I was having coffee after lunch when the Sharkfin soup topic surfaced.
A woman sitting at the next table overhead me saying "...but sharks have no feelings...!"
She began to object because here it was, a Chinese man proclaiming (insinuating) eating Sharkfin soup is all right.

Do sharks feel pain? I think yes.
Do they have feelings (emotional)? I think not.
Do the fishermen overfish sharks? I think not but I have no proof.
Is it cruel to slice off fin and throw live shark back into sea? I think that is subjective and I am ok with it.

Now over to you....
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Old 31.05.2012, 11:35
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Re: Shark fin soup. Delicacy or animal abuse?

you neatly avoided the question of sustainability...i think this is the key point in this issue
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Old 31.05.2012, 11:37
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Re: Shark fin soup. Delicacy or animal abuse?

It is the most politically incorrect thing next to eating whale steak.
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Old 31.05.2012, 11:38
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Re: Shark fin soup. Delicacy or animal abuse?

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It is the most politically incorrect thing next to eating whale steak.
What's wrong with eating whale?

I do it every time I go to Norway!

Tom
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Old 31.05.2012, 11:39
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Re: Shark fin soup. Delicacy or animal abuse?

My vote, having lived in China and HK, is that there is no reason why this is a practice worth supporting. The shark I believe cannot survive without the fin and to kill the entire animal. for a pot of soup seems rather cruel to me. These eating habits I think go way back to the times when Chinese attributed all sorts of health benefits to odd. foods (and many still believe this...)
There are plenty of other things to eat in China!
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Old 31.05.2012, 11:41
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Re: Shark fin soup. Delicacy or animal abuse?

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It is the most politically incorrect thing next to eating whale steak.
Nah, the worst thing is the so called Traditional Chinese medicine that so many gush about lovingly in this forum, which is causing the extinction of so many of the world's rare but beautiful mammals.

I'd like to give those users a taste of their own medicine. You're all sick.
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Old 31.05.2012, 11:43
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Re: Shark fin soup. Delicacy or animal abuse?

why is it different from eating chicken, cow, pork, horse, deer, frog, etc...

Its an honest question.
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Old 31.05.2012, 11:47
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Re: Shark fin soup. Delicacy or animal abuse?

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It is the most politically incorrect thing next to eating whale steak.
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What's wrong with eating whale?

I do it every time I go to Norway!

Tom
Agreed - there are estimated to be around 80 000 minke whales in the North Atlantic alone, and the Norwegians & Icelanders have a quota to fish around 1% of these per annum. I'm never quite sure why the fishing of whales engenders so much passion.

But I do think that harvesting any part of an animal so that it can no longer survive is cruel - seems more humane to kill it and remove it rather than returning it to the water. Or do as they do with crabs and take one claw so it can survive and regrow one - thats pretty cool!
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Old 31.05.2012, 11:50
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Re: Shark fin soup. Delicacy or animal abuse?

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why is it different from eating chicken, cow, pork, horse, deer, frog, etc...

Its an honest question.
do you cut the leg or a big piece off the cow while its alive and then let it back into the field?

no, i dont think so.
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Old 31.05.2012, 11:56
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Re: Shark fin soup. Delicacy or animal abuse?

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Agreed - there are estimated to be around 80 000 minke whales in the North Atlantic alone, and the Norwegians & Icelanders have a quota to fish around 1% of these per annum. I'm never quite sure why the fishing of whales engenders so much passion.
And how high would the number be if there were no international protection agreements (which the Japanese tend to ignore)? Back in the days when the oceans were plentiful and industrialized fishing began nobody would care how many animals of a certain species were left. I have a real problem with people who think they have to eat animals that are endangered, when there is so much else to eat around.

Look here: http://www.greenpeace.org/internatio...ceans/whaling/
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Old 31.05.2012, 11:59
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Re: Shark fin soup. Delicacy or animal abuse?

It is absolutely not ok to eat shark fin soup. On the other hand, I had steamed shark fin dumpling in Paris and they were excuisite.
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Old 31.05.2012, 11:59
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Re: Shark fin soup. Delicacy or animal abuse?

Would the following procedure be more acceptable or humane?

Fish the shark.
Kill the shark (as quickly as possible)
Slice off fin.
Throw dead shark (by catch) back into waters. Or store it to sell it.

Some markets do buy and sell shark meat but this is conveniently not shown by shark protectionists. They taste also quite good. But it is a cheap fishmeat unfortunately.
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Old 31.05.2012, 12:03
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Re: Shark fin soup. Delicacy or animal abuse?

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And how high would the number be if there were no international protection agreements (which the Japanese tend to ignore)? Back in the days when the oceans were plentiful and industrialized fishing began nobody would care how many animals of a certain species were left. I have a real problem with people who think they have to eat animals that are endangered, when there is so much else to eat around.

Look here: http://www.greenpeace.org/internatio...ceans/whaling/
Agreed that some protection is needed.

Regarding "so much else around" - have you ever BEEN to Iceland??

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Would the following procedure be more acceptable or humane?

Fish the shark.
Kill the shark (as quickly as possible)
Slice off fin.
Throw dead shark (by catch) back into waters. Or store it to sell it.

Some markets do buy and sell shark meat but this is conveniently not shown by shark protectionists. They taste also quite good. But it is a cheap fishmeat unfortunately.
Yes. I think it is
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Old 31.05.2012, 12:07
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Re: Shark fin soup. Delicacy or animal abuse?

Ditto.
I find the practice of shaving the fin and discarding the live shark as unacceptable. Kill it first.
Similarly, with discarding the live frog after it's legs have been severed.
Skinning and boiling live dogs and cats.
Plucking live chickens in very hot water.

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My vote, having lived in China and HK, is that there is no reason why this is a practice worth supporting. The shark I believe cannot survive without the fin and to kill the entire animal. for a pot of soup seems rather cruel to me. These eating habits I think go way back to the times when Chinese attributed all sorts of health benefits to odd. foods (and many still believe this...)
There are plenty of other things to eat in China!
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Old 31.05.2012, 12:11
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Re: Shark fin soup. Delicacy or animal abuse?



http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=L5HXyOgz2YA
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Old 31.05.2012, 12:12
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Re: Shark fin soup. Delicacy or animal abuse?

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Some markets do buy and sell shark meat
Italy, for example.

Tom
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Old 31.05.2012, 12:15
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Re: Shark fin soup. Delicacy or animal abuse?

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Ditto.
I find the practice of shaving the fin and discarding the live shark as unacceptable. Kill it first.
Similarly, with discarding the live frog after it's legs have been severed.
Skinning and boiling live dogs and cats.
Plucking live chickens in very hot water.
So it is the procedure that need some education and modification.
And also the control of rate of fishing to ensure sustainability.

I am actually neutral in this but I suspect the green peace folks and shark environmentalists do show some biased video footage to forward their causes.

What do you think?
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Old 31.05.2012, 12:27
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Re: Shark fin soup. Delicacy or animal abuse?

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Agreed that some protection is needed.

Regarding "so much else around" - have you ever BEEN to Iceland??
No, I haven't and it's totally acceptable that people who traditionally have been into whale fishing and actually lived off them, be it the Inuit or people on Iceland, have a certain quota they can take. However, it is absolutely not acceptable that rich people in the industrialized world fish them just because it's fancy to eat whale or high-priced, or illegal. They have plenty other things to eat.
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Old 31.05.2012, 12:41
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Re: Shark fin soup. Delicacy or animal abuse?

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It is the most politically incorrect thing next to eating whale steak.
As a matter of fact is it worse imho. While some whales are still endangered did some populations actually recover from the overfishing of the last centuries.

But on sharks: there are very little left. Most scientists agree that we already successfully killed some 90% of them... and besides starring in horror movies do they have a job to do: Coral reefs are some of the most complicated habitats with food chains that react on the smallest changes - that's why just one or two degrees difference in temperature is a problem as well. If you take out the apex predators... you bring the entire habitat out of ballance (the next lower fish will grow it's population... which is hungry and eat more of the fish one step lower... a typical chain reaction). Just like lions or tigers do sharks reproduce very slowly - so I frankly fear that even if we stop now - it might be too late or at least will take a century to recover.

From my personal experience: I spend a lot of my free time diving. Within the last year in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. I went to a couple of places that got famous for large fish - even there did I see just few reef sharks left. Most older dive guides can tell you that the populations looked very differently 20 yrs back.

In short: besides the ethical questions on finning and even if you hate ecological interested people: We are messing up the one habitat from which most humans still get their proteins from. Not a smart thing to do and we frankly have no clue what will happen in the oceans if we continue to do so. Sometimes it is driven by greed as for example the terribly unsustainable fishing practices used by "factory ships" today - this won't last long. Shark finning is just the top of the iceberg of the entire fishing topic.

P.S: I actually pledged to never eat shark fin when I met some of these guys last month: http://www.sharksavers.org/sharkfinsoup.html

Last edited by Treverus; 01.06.2012 at 01:01.
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Old 31.05.2012, 12:44
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Re: Shark fin soup. Delicacy or animal abuse?

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No, I haven't and it's totally acceptable that people who traditionally have been into whale fishing and actually lived off them, be it the Inuit or people on Iceland, have a certain quota they can take. However, it is absolutely not acceptable that rich people in the industrialized world fish them just because it's fancy to eat whale or high-priced, or illegal. They have plenty other things to eat.
The main reason for eating whale in Norway is because it is CHEAP!

I eat it because I like it (seal, too).

Tom
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