It’s Shark Week again on the Discovery Channel. Sharks have always captured the public’s imagination, which helps explain the popularity and the existence of a week dedicated to the fearsome predator.
While sharks represent the main predatory fear we humans have, the irony is that sharks are endangered because they are hunted by humans. One of the reasons? Soup.
Shark soup was once just a luxury for the wealthy. But with a growing income base in Asia, the demand for shark soup is also growing. That’s bad news for the already dwindling shark population.
According to the United Nations, the import of shark fin to Hong Kong and Taiwan rose 214 percent from 1985 to 1998. Nevermind the horrendous practice of slicing a shark’s fin off and dropping them back helplessly to die at sea. The fact that 73 million sharks are killed every year around the world for their fins is threatening the very existence of this ancient and majestic creature.
If we don’t do something about it, the creature that has ruled the oceans for hundreds of millions of years may disappear. Luckily, there is some reaction brewing among world leaders.
Last year, Palau created the first national shark sanctuary, which protects sharks from all commercial fishing in a Texas-sized body of water. Also last year, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to help close legal loopholes in U.S. law on shark finning.
But the real threat comes from abroad, which means the world community must take action.
Are you tempted by this exotic seafood soup? Check out these “morally superior” alternatives: