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Recently retired Chinese NBA star Yao Ming is taking the fight against eating shark fins back to his homeland, where demand for the traditional delicacy is soaring despite efforts to ban their use and trade. Yao and British tycoon Richard Branson made an appeal Thursday in Shanghai against eating shark fins, which are a staple of high-class Chinese banquets, to a group of 30 of China’s richest and most influential businesspeople.
Critics say fishermen kill more than 70 million sharks each year for their fins, which can sell for $700 a pound (450 grams), while the soup can cost $80 a bowl. Usually, the fins are cut from the sharks and their bodies discarded, leaving them to die. Although there have been moves to ban the trade and consumption of shark fins in California and elsewhere, 95 percent are consumed in China.
Shark fin soup was once an emperor's dish. But with the record-breaking increase in wealth in China, the soup—which can fetch up to $200 per bowl—is now available to the rapidly expanding Chinese upper middle class. And that means many species of sharks, some of them already endangered, are being not just overfished, but mutilated for their fins while still alive. And then thrown back into the ocean to bleed to death
Originally posted by Domo1
One thing that bothers me is that people are buying these dishes for an ENORMOUS amount of money. Figure $80 a bowl. If you're eating to show off can't you swing the extra 50 cents for a bullet to kill the things humanely? Seems like the first company that adopts that practice could be more humane, and charge a tiny bit more for humane fins. Win - win until the drastic decrease in population messes up the ocean.
I am sure the buyers don't think about how they were acquired. Just that it's something considered a delicacy and so they must have it.