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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Sharks in a soup

Sharks in a soup
Shark populations plunge as a result of traditional Asian delicacy

Tuesday, February 03, 2009, Jamie Sturgeon and Justin Robertson, National Post

Sharks, an icon of the ocean for more than 400 million years, are everywhere in alarming retreat - by some estimates, down as much as 80% from only decades ago in certain regions. Millennia of evolutionary refinement may have produced the world's supreme predator, but it has not prepared the shark for the onslaught the species is now enduring.

Why? Soup.

The soup contains shards of the tasteless, and nutritionally worthless, shark fin and is usually flavoured with chicken stock.

The cost: $55. It is the price of prestige.

The growth of an Asian leisure class has put immense pressure on shark stocks that are already poorly understood and managed, says Dr. Dirk Zeller, a research fellow at the University of British Columbia Fisheries Centre.

The explosion of new wealth has also given rise to a colossal black market.

"It's a huge grey figure" between the recorded catch and what goes unreported or illegally poached, Dr. Zeller says.

The estimated kill annually is now between 38 million and 100 million, he says, the most sought after being blue, hammerhead and shortfin sharks.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Maybe the economic crisis aint all bad afterall. People cant afford them shark's fin soup!

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