Monday, July 23, 2012

Shark-Friendly Soup in Macau

Andrew Sullivan recently shared several pieces about shark fin sales covering topics ranging from the dispute over its ban in California to its strong market in Hong Kong. The eating of shark fins is an issue that has garnered much attention due to the practice of shark finning, where the fin is removed and then the shark is dumped back into the water still alive. However, not all shark fins are obtained through this process, and Sullivan mentions that "scientists and conservationists support managed fisheries over all-out legislative bans".

In a land rife with fake products, I have wondered how much of the shark fin soup sold in China actually includes genuine shark fin. So while walking around Macau last week this pot of soup sitting outside a restaurant caught my attention:

Large container of soup in Macau labeled as "Artificial shark's fin soup with chicken meal"
The value of advertising artificiality

Regardless of whether customers primarily order the soup due to concerns about the welfare of sharks or a desire not to pay the higher price for genuine shark fin soup, this seems to be yet another potential way to reduce shark finning.

Chickens may have some objections though.

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