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Last login: Tuesday, March 29, 2011
As a Chinese who grew up in Singapore and Hong Kong eating shark fin soup, I strongly support the ban on shark fin trade.
Shark fin is not a cultural delicacy which has been singled out – foie gras has already been banned in California. Even China is considering a ban: Ding Liguo, deputy to the National People's Congress, proposed that China's top legislature ban the trade of shark fin.
One-third of the species of oceanic sharks are now endangered just from the last 20-30 years of eating shark fin soup, thus if we don't act soon, these sharks will be wiped out. Once a species is gone, it's gone forever. These are the bigger sharks, the apex predators, who play an important role in our ocean ecosystem.
Decimating shark populations has many consequences, including collapsing our scallop fisheries, threatening crab populations, and disrupting our ocean ecosystem. We don’t know all of the consequences yet. For a long time, people were killing bats because to them bats are useless, scary blood-suckers. Now we know that some can eat 3x their body weight in mosquitoes each night. Similarly we have to be careful with the ocean ecosystem. In the ocean, phytoplankton produces half of the world’s supply of oxygen.
The shark fin trade has parallels to the ivory trade and our experience with ivory demonstrates that the only way we can enforce it is to cut the demand.
March 29, 2011 at 10:03 p.m.
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