Shivering on the 49th Parallel
Thursday, January 4, 2007

Ok I doubt it, but whatever. Shark fin soup is a delicacy in Japanese cuisine. There are some pretty scary things that are considered delicacies in Japanese cuisine. Then again, there's some pretty scary things in pretty much any ethnic cuisine. (Haggis anyone? how about some black pudding? Tripe? bleah to all of them!) The thing about shark fin soup is that they only use the cartilage of certain fins. The rest of the shark is bycatch. There are some pretty sick videos available on the net that show sharks being finned (ie their fins cut off) while they're still alive, and then chucked back overboard to die slowly and painfully. Add to that the bycatch when trawling for sharks includes dolphins, rays, mantas and just about everything but Jimmy Hoffa and it's all cast aside to get just the shark's fins.

If you're going to catch it, eat it. Eat it all. I have no problem with people hunting or fishing if it's going to become their food, or traded for food or whatever (sustenance fishing/hunting and I don't think you need a semi- or full-automatic rifle to do it). I don't subscribe to the "meat is murder" philosophy and I like my steak medium rare. I've been to a slaughterhouse before, when I was a teenaged line-cook who wasn't showing enough respect for what I was cooking. it was jarring but it didn't put me off meat.

Shark fin soup gets on my tits though. A couple days ago someone was searching around on Amazon and found a store that sold Shark Fin Soup. Wetpixel posted it up with directions on what to do to pressure Amazon to take it down. Divester picked up the story and ran with it, as did a few other scuba diving related websites and by the end of the day, it was offline. Congrats to the mob mentality of the internet! I thought I was seeing the old RSS feeds today when I clicked over to Divester and saw the same thing... but not! There's another store on Amazon selling a different brand of Shark Fin Soup, so the whole thing is starting up again. I wonder how long this one will take, what with the combined readership of Divester, Wetpixel and all the blogs that have linked to them.

I also wonder if Amazon will go through it's own stores looking for other stores carrying it and remove them as well, or will it be up to the eagle-eyed surfers to find it and direct a campaign against it.

Thursday, January 4, 2007 10:08:26 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [3] | Food | Links | Underwater#
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