Sharks – inFINitely wasteful
By ELLA TAN – In Singapore, diners either slurp up their shark’s fin soup with relish or decline in support of the anti-finning movement. For the Chinese, the most voracious shark’s fin eaters in the world, giving up their prized soup is the equivalent of asking the Japanese to forego fugu (pufferfish). Not just a tasty banquet dish, shark’s fin soup is also associated with affluence, and with China’s rising numbers of nouveau riche, oceans might soon be depleted of sharks.
Why do we discourage finning? Let us count the reasons. It’s cruel and wasteful. In third-world countries, sharks caught are eaten like fish i.e. the whole shark is consumed whereas the finning industry slices off the fin and leaves the shark to die slowly and painfully. Sharks are beautiful and an important part of the ecosystem. Shark’s fin is tasteless, so if it’s the texture you enjoy, use seaweed extract for the same chewiness and chicken stock as the base to make a flavourful soup – recipe from http://www.soshiok.com/recipe/mock-sharks-fin-soup
Chef Gordon Ramsay was soaked in gasoline and threatened at gunpoint while filming the Shark Bait documentary for UK’s Channel 4. But he persisted, and the results are showing. “Already some top Chinese restaurants in London’s famous Chinatown – sickened by findings from the Channel 4 show – have joined forces with Ramsay and the Shark Trust and are now displaying ‘Shark fin free Zone’ posters.”
The chef, a Shark Trust patron said: “It’s a simple equation. There are shark species that have declined by 90 per cent in 10 years and if we don’t start to make a difference now they may not be around by the end of the century. No bowl of soup is worth that. Leave them alone and respect their beauty.”