Shark fin soup is bad news! Here’s how you can help! »
Poor sharks! They are being hunted and killed for their fins to make shark fin soup. SF Appeal had a great piece about the issue last week and I learned so much! The soup is a traditional dish in many Asian countries served at special occasions. It’s supposed to show how much of a baller you are because it costs up to $100 a bowl. LAME! SFAppeal and other sources are blaming the shark’s bad rep for the indifference to the fact that 70 million sharks are killed annually and 30 percent of shark species are threatened with extinction. Seventy million? Goddamn. Many times, because people don’t want shark meat, their fins are cut off while the sharks are still alive and then they are just dropped back into the ocean to die. OUCH! You can see just how awful it is on YouTube but I won’t assault you here.
Sea Shepherd (everyone’s favorite vigilantes) has a campaign against shark-finning, part of which is changing your perspective on sharks:
Myth: Sharks are bloodthirsty man-eaters and ruthless killing machines.
Reality: More people are killed each year by falling vending machines than by sharks.
San Francisco has a lot going on with regards to shark-finning. Wild Aid, which seems pretty awesome, has its headquarters in SF. Check out their volunteer opportunities. San Francisco-based journalist Erica Gies is also involved with Wild Aid; read about her efforts on spot.us—a very interesting site on its own I might add. You can also read her interview with shark-activist and Goldman Environmental Prize-winner Randell Arauz. Sea Stewards has an initiative called The Shark Sanctuary that is devoted to better understanding and conservation of sharks in the Bay Area. You can sign their petition to the city to ban shark fins and shark fin products in SF. Hawaii actually became the first place to ban shark fin soup earlier this year; maybe San Francisco could be next?!
On a national level, here’s a list of restaurants to avoid because they serve shark fin soup. New York and San Francisco totally stand out with the most restaurants listed. L.A. and Las Vegas do pretty well, too. Stopsharkfinning.net has a list of other ways you can help. You can also donate money to the Sea Shepherd for their shark conservation work. Read Oceana’s report on the international fin trade here.