Is eating shark’s fin that bad?

Finally, some balanced reporting.

Eating shark’s fin in Singapore is increasingly becoming less socially acceptable. With the Lunar New year around the corner, it is quite timely to discuss the growing hysteria surrounding shark’s fin.

The Straits Times recently reported that 89 restaurants are taking shark’s fin off their menu in 2018.

For example, the Pan Pacific hotel group has stopped serving shark’s fin since 1 January, while the Crystal Jade group will remove it from their menus by 31 July and only serve shark’s fin upon request.

All this anti-shark’s fin sentiment is largely driven by videos of the cruel practice of finning where the fins are sliced off and the shark is thrown back into the sea to die a slow and painful death.

But I have always had my reservations about how widespread this practice was. You mean shark meat has zero value meh?

Well, this video by Zaobao finally answered my questions. Lianhe Zaobao reporter Lee Lay Ming travelled to Spain, one of the world’s largest shark meat producing countries, and Taiwan, a big player in the entire shark’s fin supply chain, to understand the trade and customs of people who catch, trade and consume shark.

The video makes the point that people in Europe, including Spain, Italy, France and Iceland, consume shark meat, which is also true for Taiwan. There is a healthy demand for shark meat.

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So my point is this – if there is no finning involved, which any reasonable person would acknowledge is cruel – then I see no issue with eating shark’s fin as long as the fishing is done in a sustainable way. Tio boh?

But of course, people just jump on the bandwagon and proclaim shark’s fin consumers as inherently evil. I have even heard of online flaming of Instagram posts showing eating of shark’s fin. So finally there is a balanced piece of reporting on this issue.

I’m not saying everybody should go and eat shark’s fin now. All I am saying is that the whole narrative has been too one-sided for too long. And people stop eating shark’s fin without knowing the full story.

If you enjoy shark’s fin, by all means please go ahead. But for the other camp, stop judging and flaming others because others eat shark’s fin.

Personally, I don’t see the point in shark’s fin because it’s tasteless on its own. Honestly, I rather have fish maw soup. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯