Shark Finning : A Worldwide Issue Essay

1133 Words Sep 10th, 2014 5 Pages
Shark finning has been a worldwide issue. Approximately 73 million sharks are killed each year solely for their fins. But this number does not include the number of sharks that are killed for reasons other than finning (Raloff). China and Hong Kong are the largest importers for shark fins due to China’s cultural tradition for Shark Fin Soup (“How Many Sharks Are Killed Each Year For Their Fins?”). Shark Fin Soup was introduced into Chinese cuisine during the Sung Dynasty (AD 960–1279) but did not become incorporated into the Chinese tradition until the Ming Dynasty (AD 1368–1644) (“The End of The Line?”). The soup was traditionally served at weddings and was a symbol of status. Today the soup is still served at Chinese weddings and large banquets but can also be seen being served regularly in numerous Chinese restaurants. A cheap bowl of the soup can go for $5 while the more expensive bowls can go for $2000 (“History of Shark Fin Soup”). There are approximately 145 countries that are involved in the shark fin trade. The biggest fishers include Indonesia, Taiwan, India, and Spain. Numerous countries are involved in the shark-finning business because it has proven to be extremely profitable. At a retail value of around $400 per kilogram, shark fins are actually the most expensive seafood import worldwide (“FINNING AND THE FIN TRADE”).
Although there are various countries that engage in the trade, there are also countries that have outlawed or placed restrictions on shark…

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