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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Say, 'No', to shark fin soup

An article for Westerners who've never heard about shark fin soup! What we consume mindlessly and take for granted is really worth a second thought guys.
Say, 'No', to shark fin soup
April 26, 12:01 AM, Stan Dyer, Denver Dining Examiner

To acquire fins, shark fishermen string long lines with many hooks in international waters. Since sharks need to keep moving to breathe, many die on the hooks before being “harvested”, yet some are captured alive. It does not matter. The animals, alive or dead, are pulled aboard the ship where the fins are removed and whatever is left is dumped back into the ocean. If the animal is still alive, it cannot swim, so it sinks to the bottom of the ocean and drowns.

The tragedy is that all the fishermen are after are the fins, the rest of the animal has no use to them. All they want from the fins is the cartilage used to make the soup. The rest is discarded as waste. In that respect, it is similar to the harvesting of buffalo skins in America in the 19th century, the killing of gorillas for souvenirs, and the slaughter of elephants just for their tusks.

Sharks are a very important part of the ocean ecosystem. Reducing their numbers or eliminating them completely can adversely affect the entire food chain.
People who eat excessive amounts, or eat the product continually over a period of years will experience elevated levels of the poison in their bodies and eventually suffer mercury poisoning.

Whether you oppose the consumption of animals, or you are just looking to limit your exposure to toxic chemicals from the environment, it is a good idea to avoid shark fin soup and to limit the consumption of all fish or fish products harvested from the sea.

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