Shark fin soup risks destroying a wonderful species that is nothing like Jaws – Hayley Matthews

I watched a documentary about the shark fin trade years ago that I'll never forget about.

By Hayley Matthews
Saturday, 4th September 2021, 12:30 pm
Hammerhead sharks are targeted by the fishing industry to make shark fin soup (Picture: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Hammerhead sharks are targeted by the fishing industry to make shark fin soup (Picture: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

A shark, finless and sinking to the bottom of the ocean, drowning and dying, was the focus.

It left me thinking how we're absolutely awful at times as humans. Yes, we can be kind and caring. However, our acts of inhumanity tend to scar me and the shark fin industry, for me, is one of the most barbaric.

The documentary explained about shark fin soup, a traditional dish served in parts of China, Taiwan and Southeast Asia. Apparently the shark fins provide texture and the taste comes from the other soup ingredients which for me makes it even more needless!

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News that UK marine conservationists are pressing for stronger international action to protect sharks against unsustainable fishing practices and shark finning is certainly welcome.

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It's such a cruel act to remove a shark’s fins at sea and discard its body back into the water. They drown slowly and it's just barbaric. All for "texture" in a soup.

I can't get my head around it. The documentary focused on a sweet little hammerhead shark that suddenly had all its fins sliced off and was then thrown back.

I understand that some cultures have traditions that go decades back. However, we need to be moving forward and taking responsibility for our reckless ways, and change them – pronto!

Many of us have a distorted image of a vicious shark from the movie Jaws in our heads, but they play a very important role in marine life and we should be protecting these beautiful creatures before we destroy their species.

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