Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

California Halts Sale Of Shark Fins

Consumption of a delicacy may be draining the Atlantic Ocean of a notorious predator.

shark fin

Photo: Sabrina Tang (flickr)

Shark fin is the main ingredient in a Chinese delicacy soup. Despite the cost, at over $100 dollars a bowl, demand for the soup has started to affect the shark population.

The California Senate passed measures to make the sale, trade or possession of shark fin illegal, following Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington states.

Some call the measure discriminatory, stating it singles out the Asian community. The United States is a small consumer of shark fin, compared to Asian countries.

Others applaud the measure for the hope of the shark population.

“Sharks are one of our oceans’ top predators, keeping the entire ecosystem in check, but shark populations have declined dramatically over the last few decades as a result of human greed and lack of understanding,” executive director of the Center for Oceanic Awareness, Research and Education Christopher Chin says.

The hammerhead shark is not immune to the demand — in the past 25 years, the western Atlantic ocean population of the shark has decreased up to 89 percent.

Moves to stop the sale and consumption of shark fins are also taking place in Asia, where sales have dropped in Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan.

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Liz Leslie

Liz Leslie is a journalist based in Bloomington, Indiana. When she's not writing about food, she's likely eating food. Or dreaming about food.

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