Monday, April 26, 2010

Shark Fin Soup

As an Asian American woman interested in journalism, I have always actively followed Lisa Ling's career. My favorite piece of hers was a documentary done on shark finning in 2008. This practice, most common in Asian countries, entails fishermen cutting the fins of sharks and leaving them in the ocean to die. Besides causing a steep decline in the shark population, shark finning is also detrimental to our ecosystem and the ocean's food chain. In the past two years since seeing the film, I haven't put much thought into the issue. This class has sparked me to look into the progress we've made (or haven't) on regulating the wasteful killing of animals for an expensive soup.

A KHON2 article I've linked to below explains the current ban on shark finning in US waters. The difficulty with this is, fishermen must be caught in the act. Otherwise, they can simply say they caught the fins in another country's waters. There is a current bill on the Senate floor proposing that the possession of shark fins be banned. This would make it extremely difficult to even make shark fin soup in the United States, as cooking or selling shark fins would be illegal. We will have to wait to see the fate of this bill.

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