A lot of us are spoilt for choice when it comes to food. When I go to a restaurant, there are so many menu options that I find it difficult to decide what to order. This is of course a blessing considering that there are millions of people around the world who are suffering from malnutrition.
However, there is one food that I would never even consider eating: shark fin. My reason is simple. The survival of sharks is greatly threatened by overfishing for human consumption. In other words, sharks are being eaten to extinction.
On top of that, the removal of the shark’s fin (a process known as finning) is extremely cruel. The sharks are fished out of the sea and their fins cut off. Then they are thrown back into the water. A shark cannot swim without its fin, so it slowly drowns. An estimated 100 million sharks are killed this way every year.
A study conducted by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species shows sharks and their relatives (rays and chimaeras) are facing extinction because of overfishing.
Thankfully we are not facing the battle alone. This issue has attracted the attention and support of international and local non-government organisations, governments, and corporations. For example, Cathay Pacific imposed a ban on transporting shipments of shark fin in June. Shangri-La Hotel stopped serving shark fin in all its restaurants from 2012.
And all of this for what? A bowl of shark’s fin soup is not even necessary for humans. We do not need to eat shark fin to survive. At the end of the day, let’s ask ourselves a simple question: can we justify the extinction of sharks based on our indulgence? If your answer is no, join me and say no to shark fin.