News

Chinese Urged to Reduce Consumption of Shark's Fin

Chinese celebrities including basketball star Yao Ming, along with the wildlife conservation group WildAid, are asking the Chinese people to give up one of their favorite foods. The conservation group says the demand for shark's fin soup, a Chinese delicacy, could put some species of shark in danger of extinction. 

The U.S.-based conservation group WildAid kicked off a campaign Wednesday to encourage the Chinese, known for their exotic tastes, to cut down on their consumption of sharks and various endangered species.

China is the world's largest consumer of shark fins, which are used in an expensive soup. The Chinese consider shark's fin soup both healthy and prestigious, and it is regularly served at banquets to impress guests.

Steve Trent, the president of WildAid, says the skyrocketing demand for shark's fin  soup has reduced shark numbers to an all-time low.

"The catch of sharks worldwide has increased by 300 percent since 1950. We can now look at around about 50 million sharks and rays are directly caught each year. But the truth is probably many more than that are caught in seas and oceans and they go unreported," he said.

Chinese celebrities, including a musician and an Olympic gold medalist, joined in the call for the Chinese public to reduce or stop eating shark's fin soup altogether.

Basketball star Yao Ming pledged he would never eat the soup again.

"In this age of development, we are more driven by money and the increasing desire to satisfy our taste buds," he said. "I heard our country used to have a kind of antelope. One hundred years ago, people discovered the economic value of this antelope, which led to its extinction during the '70's and '80's. I do not wish for this same situation to happen to sharks."

An estimated 10,000 tons of shark fins are traded around the world every year, the majority of which end up in China. A campaign against the eating of shark's fin has been waged for several years in Hong Kong, one of the major consumers of the dish.

The increasing demand for the fins has encouraged illegal fishing, and is contributing to the collapse of shark populations. WildAid says 110 species of sharks are now classified as endangered, threatened or vulnerable.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs