By Allen Ai
A few interesting ideas floated recently at a shark fin roundtable in Singapore:
[…] some consumers have argued that stopping the sale of the dish is at root a form of Sinophobia, with activists unfairly targeting Chinese consumers rather than European or North American consumers who consume large quantities of bluefin tuna, caviar and other potentially “unsustainable” foods. Under-regulated fishing practices have depleted tuna stocks in many parts of the world, for example.
Dr. Giam [a member of a United Nations body on endangered species] raised this point, too, arguing that many countries such as Germany, France, Australia and Iceland have long killed sharks for their meat. Sharks, he says, are not endangered – of the 400 species of the animal, only six have been considered endangered by the U.N.’s CITES.
“Shark’s fin coup is culturally discriminatory,” said Dr. Giam, noting that there have not been similar high-profile movements against caviar, which is highly endangered according to CITES, or Atlantic blue fin tuna, which is also considered to be endangered.
More on the shark fin debate here.