Tasting different cuisines is a huge part of visiting a new country but many of the most exotic local delicacies are sourced from unsustainable, inhumane and often illegal hunting practices. It’s our responsibility as Global travelers to take responsibility for keeping ourselves clued up on what we’re eating and how it ended up on our plates.
‘Shark Fin Soup’ is a traditional Chinese delicacy that has been on the menu since the Ming Dynasty and remains a popular choice in restaurants and ceremonies throughout the world today.Read Lucy's full article at Responsible Travel: Tiger Penis and Shark Fin Soup
Millions of sharks die each year for the sake of the soup and often slaughtered solely for their fins. Once sawn off, the bodies are thrown back into the sea to endure a slow death. Conservationists estimate that the ‘finning’ practice has led to a 90% reduction in shark populations worldwide over the past three decades.
Unless a species is protected, it’s not illegal to sell fins. In the US, finning is allowed as long as the carcases are also brought ashore.
CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) recently came under scrutiny following a week of conferences in Doha this March. Despite several international communities expressing concern for the overexploitation sharks, less compassion was shown by China and Japan, who suggested that stricter controls would prove ‘problematic’. As a result, although recognising the need for better management of shark stocks, the CITES concluded that they ‘would not ban trade’.
NGOs around the globe, such as ‘Shark savers’ and ‘Wild Aid’, campaign fiercely, educating consumers and urging them to avoid promoting the fin trade. Shark savers say that their ‘Say no to shark fin soup’, which has already achieved success in China, is set to expand throughout 2010.
See Lucy's 'photo article' on the subject at Environmental Graffiti: Shark Fin Soup: Driving the Ocean's Top Predators t Extinction