Asian demand for shark fins threatens Colombian species

  1. Asian demand for shark fins threatens Colombian species

    By Cesar Sabogal AFP - 56 minutes ago
    BOGOTA (AFP) - When Colombian naval officials seized two tonnes of shark fins in a boat off the Pacific coast last week, they threw a spotlight on a huge black market serving hungry Asian markets which is blamed for pushing some species toward extinction.

    Asian consumers prize the fins for use in making status-symbol soups -- and one pound (450 grams) of fin can fetch 300 dollars. Some shark-fin soups go for as much as 90 dollars a bowl in the countries where the dish is most popular: China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand.
    The Colombian-flagged vessel was arrested 18 nautical miles from Malpelo island, a UNESCO natural world heritage site off Colombia's Pacific coastline.
    It was crammed with the fins of endangered sharks including hammerheads, silkies, oceanics, white fins, black fins, fox shark and reef shark.
    Authorities arrested the crew on board and impounded the boat.
    Cartels led by Japanese and Colombians are said to be behind the big business of shark fins in the Colombian Pacific.
    "The Asians control the routes and the markets, and they intimidate the local fishermen and distributors who are paid a pittance per kilo," about 30 dollars, said a Colombian official with the Environmental Crimes Investigation Group, who asked not to be identified.
    Biologist Sandra Bessudo, who leads the independent Malpelo Foundation, told AFP the illegal fishing situation was so critical that a species believed unique to the waters around sanctuary, the sol-rayo or ragged-tooth shark (Odontaspis ferox), was in danger of dying out.
    The foundation says that in 2003 alone, more than 13 tonnes of shark fins were exported to Hong Kong, the equivalent of some 67,000 dead sharks. And an average of 350 ships -- mostly from Japan, Taiwan, Ecuador and Mexico -- fish for the prize in Colombian waters.
    "There just is no doubt that the shark population has declined considerably in Colombian waters in recent years," said Andres Navia, director of the non-governmental group Squalus fighting for protection of those sharks. "We are calling on authorities to protect those that are still alive; it is an extremely urgent matter."
    Sharks are not the only groups under threat, by any stretch, in Colombia. Marlins, large turtles and mollusks also are in danger.
    Julia Miranda, director of Colombia's natural parks, said that after illegal drugs, weapons trafficking and kidnapping, the unlawful trade in animal species moved the largest amount of dirty money in the South American country.
    Fishing is banned in the Malpelo wildlife sanctuary, an area which sprawls over 8,575 square kilometers (3,311 square miles). The island area is also a sanctuary for birds, and a diving paradise.

    Nobody order shark's fin soup anymore!
  2. Okay, this pisses me off!

    The way I see it, humans are higher on the food chain than animals and therefore superior.

    *puts on helmet*

    Now, before things get thrown, I think that with that superiority comes the responsibility to only kill when necessary (for food) and to not cause an animal unneeded pain.

    To me, unneeded pain means veal, lobster, foie gras, chicken that is not free range and now it means shark fin soup.

    Sharks are caught, the fins are cut off, and the shark is then dumped back into the ocean, where it slowly dies.

    Sharks freak me out, but they don't deserve that.

    Here's a link to a list of petitions asking for the cessation of distribution of shark fins.
  3. What man does to the planet is nothing short of tragic & I too despise unnecessary suffering.

    Thank you for posting
  4. Let me preface my statement by saying, I find it horrible about the shark fins. Also, I respect your opinion on what you put in your mouth unless you are full blown vegetarian and only use animal free products. But I find that statement hypocritical considering this is a purse and accessory board where animals ARE used for other things than food by luxury companies.
  5. I only mentioned food because I posted an article about shark's fin soup.

    I'm fine with leather (because it's a byproduct of the beef industry), and I'm fine with fur, as long as it's vintage (and not seal).
  6. This is incredibly sad.. I have huge respect for sharks. For such ancient creatures who have survived millions of years of evolution & THIS ends up killing off the species:push:

  7. ^ I totally agree!!! :sad:
  8. Regardless of what it is that Asian eaters eat, it is clear that when it comes to humans period, our ways of consumption are completely unethical
  9. "status symbol" soup? that's beyond rediculous, and par to killing a deer for its horns.
    I hate how alot of humans have no regard for taking care of this earth and everything in it. We have to live here and the more animals that become extinct, the less time we have here. What are they gonna do once the sharks run out? 65 000 a year is an insane number, all for greed.
  10. Why can't the whole shark be utilized? I've eaten shark before, I thought it was good.
    It one thing to kill an animal & use the whole thing for food & leather goods, its another to take part of it & let it die such a horrible death.
  11. OMG..

    First off...I only speak the opinion of myself..what others want to put into their digestive tract is their choice...

    There are things I would eat dirt first before consuming..and shark fin would be one of those things...especially after reading this article...but its the other aspect of how they obtain it that really bothers and chaps my fat white butt...why the need to throw it back..still alive? Like Vegas Legs says..why not use the meat as well??

    The human species lacks in compassion just for the all mighty dollar. When I come back...I want to be a tree...but then again..some jackass will probably cut me down and turn me into toliet paper...HUMPH!