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Gordon Ramsay doesn’t tread water lightly when it comes to criticizing failing chefs on his T.V. show “Kitchen Nightmares” or on “Hell’s Kitchen”. He criticizes and is straight forward, to the point, in-your-face honest about what they are doing wrong.
So when he tried Shark’s Fin soup for the first time, he decided to video tape it and tell the world about it.
Without Ramsay’s expletives, here are some shark facts, according to SharkSavers.org,
- Sharks have existed on this planet for 450 million years, surviving 5 major extinctions.
- As many as 73 million are killed by the shark finning industry.
- It is estimated that 90 percent of all large sharks have been wiped out, and 93-99 percent of all large sharks off the east coast of North America are gone (tiger sharks, bull sharks, hammerhead sharks, etc.).
- Shark fins, exported to Asia for shark fin soup, are now among the most expensive seafood products in the world, fetching up to 500 euros ($676) per kilogram. A single Whale Shark pectoral fin can sell for up to US$15,000.
- Global trade in shark fins is increasing, and the market for shark fin soup is estimated to be growing by 5 percent per year.
- No sharks are protected internationally. Only a handful of countries manage shark fisheries. Enforcement is very difficult.
- Consumers are largely unaware of the origins of shark fin. Studies in Hong Kong and Taiwan show that consumers have little understanding of where shark fin soup comes from, of overfishing, of illegal shark fishing or of the practice of finning.
- Shark fins are tasteless, and contain high levels of toxic methyl-mercury.
- Shark fin soup is thought to be an aphrodisiac in some cultures. High levels of methyl-mercury are known to cause infertility.
No matter how difficult it is monitor it, we should get more countries involved in banning shark finning. If we don’t try, we are just as guilty as those who practice it. Or eat it.