Now California and Singapore move to outlaw shark fin soup Published: 17 November, 2011
SHARK Fin could be about to start disappearing from the world’s menus following two key decisions to ban shark fin products.
The large Singapore based Cold Storage Supermarket company has joined the World Wild Life Singapore Sustainable Seafood Group with a commitment to stop selling shark fin and shark products in its 42 outlets across the country.
And in California Governor Jerry Brown has signed a bill that outlaws the sale and possession of shark fins, declaring that California can play a central role in preserving oceans and the environment by cutting the demand for sharks.
Shark fin soup is popular item of Chinese cuisine usually served at special occasions such as weddings and banquets. The shark fins provide texture while the taste comes from the other soup ingredients. But there is a controversy over the practice of shark finning which has been blamed for contributing to the global decline in the number of sharks. As prosperity among Chinese has increased so has the demand for the soup and there are large Chinese communities in both Singapore and California. In the US shark fin soup can cost up to $100 a bowl.
In Singapore Victor Chia, chief executive of Cold Storage Supermarket, said: We want to play our part towards caring for the environment. Our team is committed to sourcing for quality, sustainable seafood and other products in our efforts to achieve long-term sustainability and marine conservation.
The Californian shark fin legislation, was accompanied by another ruling which gives restaurants and fish shops until July 2013 to deplete their existing stock. But it has not gone down well with the Chinese community there.”I think it’s a case of discrimination against Chinese because it’s only Chinese who eat fin soup,” said Pius Lee, chairman of the Chinatown Neighbourhood Association in San Francisco. “I’m very disappointed that the governor did not investigate the whole set of facts. We believe that cutting fins and throwing the other part of the shark back is entirely not true.”