Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Shark Fins

I read about this in the Consortium for Oceanographic Research and Education newsletter recently, and it seemed quite interesting. Apparently law enforcement agencies are using genetic tests to identify fins of the highly protected white sharks in the shark fin trade. In 2003, NOAA confiscated over 1 ton of dried shark fins on its way to Asian markets from an US east coast seafood dealer. One container was labeled "porbeagle" which is a cousin of the white shark, but inside the container another label read "blanco," Spanish for white. NOAA researchers, as well as those from the Guy Harvey Institute at Nova Southeastern University took samples from these fins, ran the samples through DNA analysis and discovered that the fins were indeed from white sharks. For more about this story see the full article.

This is terrible. It is bad enough that they illegally kill thousands of sharks by cutting off their fins and tossing them back into the water (I don't understand why they can't use the whole damn thing), but also the Japanese are developing high powered harpoons to kill endangered humpback whales and fin whales off the coast of Antarctica. This comes after Japan backed out of an international consensus to protect them. And Japan does this under the disguise of "scientific research" when it is really for commercial purposes. They are one of the only countries that does this and they also do not recognize the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

We need to do something as responsible consumers. The problem is what??? If the Japanese did not make such good efficient products, and America was actually good at building things and keeping up with technology, I would say boycott products made in Japan but that is unlikely. A Disney boycott did lead to Disney-Asia stopping the sale of shark fin soup, but that won't work here. We need to urge our representatives to do something about this. At a time when it is vitally important that we protect our resources and our earth, we generate waste, continue to pollute and decimate populations. When will we get smart???


Tait said...

asking our gov to enforce environmental policy on another country is like asking ole GW to admit that the Iraq war was a bad idea....not too mentiont he success and prevalance of the Japanese Whaling fleet is our fault..we set them up with a whole fleet after WWII to kick start their economy that we decimated with atomic bombs (guess we felt guilty).....the shark fin trade does make me sick...i understand killing for food or hell even for clothing (don't support it but I understand)...but just cutting off fins and throwing the rest back to die...just fucking pisses me off beyond belief

Rae said...

horrible. completely horrible. i'm scared of sharks. hell, i'd probably pee myself if i saw something even resembling a fin in the water. but i KNOW that they feel pain just as much as we do. they're not just monsters that people can kill off whenever they damn well feel like it. god, this sort of thing really pisses me off! i say we should ambush the people that do that to the poor sharks and whales, chop off their legs, and leave them to bleed to death like the poor sharks & whales they're killing. WHO'S WITH ME?!?!? >:D *grabs chainsaw* (i guess you can see how much it affects me when people torture animals like that.)

Nintendoll said...

They cut the fins off and THROW THEM BACK? Sad.

Andriy said...

My heart is crying!
This is genocyde, i think. What`s the f***ing business around this genocyde? How people could allow to sell fins officially in the world?
It would be the best if shark fins would be forbidden for official selling everywhere in the world. I live far away from places where i can buy any shark fins (Ukraine) but i really think that we all should fight against that fishers who do this like we fought against nacizm during WW2.
If I will be proposed to taste the dish with the shark fin, I will refuse because I can`t take it, how they kill sharks and throw them back. I would be happy to meet one of such fishers and... do something like they do with the sharks.