To eat or not to eat shark fin

To eat or not to eat shark fin


A worker dries shark fins in a fishing port in Indonesia.
A worker dries shark fins in a fishing port in Indonesia.
Photo: Reuters

I went out with my relatives for dinner recently. As soon as I saw that the main course was a dish made of shark fin, I refused to eat it. After the meal, I tried to justify my choice to my family. Eating shark fin is not environmentally friendly, as the creatures play an important role in the world's oceans. But my younger sister said something that made me think: "Can your action help anything, as the shark was already killed?"

Maybe she was right. I can't bring the shark back to life, but my decision can encourage others not to eat shark fin, and possibly save hundreds of thousands of the fish. So, I would still choose not to eat it.

Jacob Wong, The Chinese Foundation Secondary School

From the Editor

Thank you for your letter, Jacob. We sympathise with your dilemma. Well done for sticking to your morals.

Your little sister's logic seems perfectly reasonable; eating the already-dead shark will not do much to help those that are still free. But that's not the case.

By eating the shark, you create a space which needs to be filled with another piece of fin. That piece will come from another shark that will be killed for its fins. So, it is better to leave the already-dead shark's fin alone.

Susan, Editor

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
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