Shark Fin Soup

Discussion in 'Environmental' started by Matt Rogers, May 21, 2003.

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  1. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

    Dec 31, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    Here is another depressing fishing article:

    HONOLULU - With the growth of Asia's economies in the past decade, the demand for shark fin soup, which can fetch more than $100 a bowl, has gone up.

    AP Photo

    "People want to show their wealth a little more, and one way is to have the soup at your party," said Paul Ortiz, a senior enforcement attorney for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

    The soup's popularity in Asia has also led to a rise in unappetizing practices by fishermen eager to cash in.

    While shark finning itself is legal, it is illegal for U.S. ships to possess shark fins without the accompanying carcass. But fins are more lucrative than the meat, and fishermen have taken to slicing them off and tossing the rest of the shark — sometimes still alive — back in the water, leaving more room for fins on board.

    "It's not a ban on shark fin soup, it's a ban on cutting off its fin and throwing away the carcass," Ortiz said.

    Companies that buy tons of shark fins from fishing vessels for $20 to $30 per kilogram can sell them in Singapore or Hong Kong for $50 per kilogram, Ortiz said.

    "The stuff is worth a lot of money and is relatively easy to move because you don't have to take particular good care of it like fish," he said. "You don't have to freeze it; it dries in the sun."

    About 64,700 pounds of shark fins were seized after federal agents boarded the Honolulu-based King Diamond II last summer about 350 miles southwest of Mexico — the largest seizure of shark fins in the United States since the federal law was passed in 2000.

    NOAA estimates about 18,000 sharks were killed for the 32 tons of shark fins, most of them "blue sharks."

    "If the shark fins weighed 32 tons the rest of the shark carcass would've weighed 1.2 million. There's just no way you can take possession of that many shark carcasses," Ortiz said.

    Last week, companies in Hawaii and Hong Kong were charged with illegally possessing more than 32 tons of shark fins and fined hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    "We are sending a clear message, those who choose to continue in the trade of shark fins must do so within the strict requirements of federal regulations," said Mike Gonzales, special agent in charge of the National Marine Fisheries Service Office for Law Enforcement in Long Beach, Calif.
  2. Click Here!

  3. karlas

    karlas Fire Goby

    Feb 20, 2002
    berwick, PA,Pennsylvania
    ya thats what i was talking about in the other post about cutting fins off and throwing the rest away

    it really sux when you think about the amount fish lost due to these practices

    there is someting goin on right now that is a good thing ill put the link down

    (sorry matt its a link to another board but its worth reading)

    fund raising for phillipines