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Shark Finning Soup

Updated on March 26, 2012
Hammerhead Shark
Hammerhead Shark | Source

Sharks. Wild and cold blooded beasts of the sea. People think that sharks are terrifying . I'm not saying that they're right or wrong. They bite people, kill people, sometimes they do bite for no apparent reason, maybe just because they feel like it.

People get terrified of sharks when they see films about sharks killing people to satisfy their appetites like the film Jaws. Or perhaps a film based on a true story of a person nearly getting killed by a shark, or losing a limb like the spectacular adventure film Soul Surfer. But you can learn a lot more about these creatures and their lifestyle by watching the film Shark Water. I make these references only to illustrate the fact that media has a big influence on how people think about such creatures. Especially on the impression of those who don't live by the sea and in many cases have never seen a shark in their life.

One thing to note is that studies have shown that sharks only kill five people out of billions on the planet per year. Studies have also shown that vending machines kill more people per year then sharks do, by them tipping over on people. That isn't to say we don't wish it was zero people per year but still they are not the biggest problem or even predator of mankind by any means.

Despite this people hunt sharks in Coster Rica, and in many parts of Asia, cut off just their fins and throw back into the ocean to suffer. The shark then dies slowly of hours after bleeding to death. Why do people do this you ask?
To make soup.

With the shark fins the people who hunted shark for their fins take them to gourmet resturaunts to sell the fins to the chef to make fin soup. Shark fin soup is a very traditional delicacy and served on special occasions (such as weddings.) Shark fin soup is sold for almost $150 per bowl.

If you plan on killing a fish, a hen or any type of living creature shouldn't you use all the meat instead of killing it for a small section of it's body? Also is it ethical to after cutting off it's appendages throw a live creature back into the ocean to bleed to death?

Sharks all over the ocean are becoming endangered. Especially the hammerhead shark and the great white shark. Yet these are the very sharks that are having their fins cut off on a daily basis. Th practice of shark finning is wrong and needs to end before sharks are nothing more than a myth in the grand history of mankind.

Below I have included a video that shows you first hand what is involved in the deaths of these sharks. For those who are not convinced that shark finning is a problem you should start the video at 4:08 at this point you will see thousands of shark fins drying on a roof in the sun. For those with weak stomachs you may not want to watch the film but simply take my word for it.

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    • terrektwo profile image
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      Candle Hour 4 years ago from North America

      I hope your right. While some may say the shark is a dangerous predator to humans (and they are right) allowing a species to become extinct in this manner shows a lot more of the ruthlessness of humanity than that of a beast driven by instinct. On top of this we have to consider that nature like anything is in a specific balance, destroy one type of species means that balance will be thrown off possibly causing the destruction of other species. It doesn't take an intelligent mind to realize long term it will be a losing situation for us. All so a handful of greedy animal torturers can line their pockets with some money.

    • terrektwo profile image
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      Candle Hour 4 years ago from North America

      Deb Welch - thank you for that bit of news! It's great to hear I will be crossing my fingers until it goes through :)

    • profile image

      Deb Welch 4 years ago

      I know I read this Hub 16 months ago-yet-I remembered when I read some good news in our NYState newspaper today. NY State plans a ban on the shark fin trade, the law would remove this delicacy from menus in all of NY. Seventy three million sharks are killed each year for their fins. Manhattan restaurants sell the soup for $26 a bowl quite inexpensive. What is cruel & brutal is how the fins are removed. They say Governor Cuomo will sign the Bill. Wait & See. I'm for saving the shark.

    • terrektwo profile image
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      Candle Hour 5 years ago from North America

      Teylina - no worries I know what you mean :)

    • Teylina profile image

      Teylina 5 years ago

      That was my intent--to agree with you--sorry if it came out wrong; we've used shark as bait from the shore in backwaters where the larger sharks could not go. But my generations- back fishing family always killed the shark immediately upon catching; they actually got treated better than the ones who died naturally on being caught. My brother, big-time fisherman, diver, said: "people can say all they want; I'll take a shark over a barracuda any day--sharks are often lured or driven; barracudas are just plain ornery." You may agree or not, but he, too, would have agreed with you 100%

    • terrektwo profile image
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      Candle Hour 5 years ago from North America

      Teylina - I do agree with you, I don't think fishing is bad. If you capture and use the whole shark, or at least most of it. I just have a problem with people slicing off one fin and leaving the shark to suffer and bleed to death. But I think fishing is ok.

    • Teylina profile image

      Teylina 5 years ago

      This is a real back-off for me, and I'm glad you wrote it; just hope some "right people" read it. Sharks deserve their chance at life, too. I've caught and eaten shark meat, an I love the thick, meatier portions, but fishing for food is different from netting for only the fins and throwing back is a cruel thing to do.

    • terrektwo profile image
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      Candle Hour 5 years ago from North America

      picklesandrufus - I agree, it would be difficult to imagine anyone doing it but unfortunately it is a reality. It's up to people to stand up and say it isn't right if we expect it to stop. Thanks for reading!

    • terrektwo profile image
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      Candle Hour 5 years ago from North America

      tobusiness - people can be cruel and they can be good. Hopefully these shark finners can learn from their mistakes and stop doing it. I guess only time will tell.

    • terrektwo profile image
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      Candle Hour 5 years ago from North America

      mary615 - very true it is pretty evil.

    • terrektwo profile image
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      Candle Hour 5 years ago from North America

      Brendamurray - I think it is an eventuality that it will change (I hope), I think the more public opinion is against it the more pressure those doing it will feel.

    • terrektwo profile image
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      Candle Hour 5 years ago from North America

      teaches12345 - I am glad were on the same page, I know sometimes if an animal is dangerous we may have to kill it. But in the cases of the shark fining they are just cutting of the fins and letting them die and not using the rest of the meat. It is a horrible practice. But glad we see eye to eye, thanks for commenting too.

    • terrektwo profile image
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      Candle Hour 5 years ago from North America

      suzzycue - that's true, if they used all the shark I don't think it would be an issue but when they just cut off the fin and throw them back to die thats cruel and wasteful. Thank you for commenting.

    • terrektwo profile image
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      Candle Hour 5 years ago from North America

      hoteltravel - true some may not realize that sharks are getting just their fins cut off and thrown back to die. S I hope this message makes it to as many as possible.

    • terrektwo profile image
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      Candle Hour 5 years ago from North America

      billybuc - no problem, some has to, glad to oblige :) Thanks for reading!

    • picklesandrufus profile image

      picklesandrufus 5 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va

      Terrible! It speaks to the consciousness of people as much as anything. Nothing deserves to suffer, let alone for the purpose of having ones appendages end up in a bowl of soup. Sickos.Good informative hub!

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 5 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      I don't believe people are becoming more cruel.

      But thanks to people like yourself we are becoming more aware of the waste and cruelty involved in some instance, when we decide to eat meat.

      The more people who point the light at those dark practices the sooner it will disappear. I'm afraid i couldn't bring myself to look at the video, maybe another time, but interesting hup. Voted up

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      How sick is this???? I didn't watch the video: thanks for the warning. Too bad there are such cruel people in the world!

    • Brendamurray profile image

      Brenda 5 years ago

      Great hub and good information. I find it amazing that people throw sharks back to suffer in such fashion. Hopefully this practice will change.The shark is a majestic creature and even though they are usually shown at their worst their grace and beauty is something to behold.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      I like your comment on hunting for sport. If we are not planning on eating it -- don't hunt it. I live near the ocean and we do hear of shark attacks in the waters. It is sad for the person who loses a limb to these creatures. I believe that the waters hold some beautiful animals, including sharks, we just have to be careful of where and when we swim. Enjoyed your hub facts and advice.

    • suzzycue profile image

      Susan Britton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      To me this is a wasteful tradition especially if the fins have no flavor. I never saw fin soup made so found this hub useful in showing how many sharks were destroyed. Shark meat is really good. I myself have caught three foot hammerheads and BBq them and they are sweet meat to eat. They could sell the rest of the meat in shark steaks to feed the poor.

    • terrektwo profile image
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      Candle Hour 5 years ago from North America

      Deborah Brooks - yes it is a shame, we are just wasting what we have. I could understand if they were fishing and used the whole shark but it is very cruel and wasteful to just cut the fins and then let them go to die. Thanks for commenting :)

    • hoteltravel profile image

      hoteltravel 5 years ago from Thailand

      Even those who enjoy shark fin soup might not be aware of the inhumane practice involved. Thanks for highlighting the senselessness of man. Voted up.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Senseless greed! Thank you for bringing this practice to the light of day!

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 5 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      $150.00 for a bowl of fine soup? Oh My and then put the sharks back in the ocean to bleed to death? how awful.. this is a great hub.

      voted up

      Debbie

    • terrektwo profile image
      Author

      Candle Hour 5 years ago from North America

      Cutting the fin off a shark and leaving it for dead seems pretty cruel, even if it is a shark. Online it says it is a british television show called, "Big Fish Fight" for Channel 4. The main consumers of the fin soup are china, Japan, etc and it is a status thing. Only the top people can afford the soup. No real healing qualities but apparently there is a lot of tradition behind it. I doubt in the past though the had the same ability to mass exterminate the sharks like they do today.

    • profile image

      Deb Welch 5 years ago

      Terr - Excellent Hub - People are getting so cruel and heartless just for the sake of making money. The video was awesome and I hope these countries get educated about what is really happening behind the scenes and make changes as they did in Chinatown. Useful information given and interesting to read. Voted Up. Was this Video by Gordon Ramsey of the Travel Channel or of the Food Channel? He said that the Shark Fin had no distinct flavor - bland. The broth was extremely good and could have any type of meat in it. Are there healing qualities to it - is that why it is so expensive?