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Old 07-13-2012, 12:39 PM   #1
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Richmond Restaurateur rejects shark fin ban

I saw this article in the paper today and would like to share

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By Matthew Hoekstra - Richmond Review
Published: July 12, 2012 4:00 PM
Updated: July 12, 2012 4:04 PM
A possible shark fin ban in Richmond has the stomachs of some local restaurant owners churning.

David Chung, owner of The Jade Seafood Restaurant on Alexandra Road, vows to put up a fight if city council follows Toronto’s lead of banning the sale and consumption of the Chinese delicacy used in soup.

“Shark fin soup is a tradition that we don’t want to break. It’s something we treasure,” said Chung in an interview with The Richmond Review.

The Jade offers four types of shark fin soup on its dinner menu, ranging from $24 to $63, and it’s a popular choice on banquet menus. But elected officials are now mulling a ban on shark fins, following an activist’s plea at city hall Monday.

The B.C. Asian Restaurant and Cafe Owners Association, which represents nearly 100 restaurants in Richmond, Vancouver and Burnaby, met Wednesday and agreed a ban on shark fins wouldn’t hurt their bottom line, but would infringe on their rights, said Chung, who is the association’s president.

“Nobody likes the idea of banning this eating of shark fin because it’s our right to eat things like this.”

Proponents of a ban say shark finning is inhumane, with poachers catching their prey, cutting off the fins and throwing the sharks overboard. They also say the demand for fins is threatening many shark species with extinction.

But Chung believes only a small portion of harvesters treat the animals as activists claim, adding government shouldn’t focus on such a “little” issue.

“The reason for it is so minor and these activists make such a big deal out of it. It’s just totally unfair,” he said. “If the federal government decided we can import shark fin, we should be able to eat it.”

Chung said shark finning provides jobs for people in developing countries and balances the food system. As a top predator, if sharks are left unchecked, they’ll consume more and more fish, he said.

“If they’re not being hunted or they’re not being killed, a lot of things would change too. The way I see it, the Chinese people have become part of the food chain that keeps things in check.”

Toronto’s ban, on the possession, sale and consumption of shark fin products, goes into effect Sept. 1, imposing fines of $5,000 for a first offence, $25,000 for a second conviction and $100,000 for subsequent ones. Six other Ontario cities have also agreed to bans.

In Metro Vancouver, Coquitlam, Port Moody and the City of North Vancouver have also banned possession and use of shark fins.

Activist Anthony Marr presented his case for a ban to Richmond council Monday. He hopes to also convince Burnaby and Vancouver to adopt a ban.

“It’s cruel. The analogy is if some aliens abducted you, cut off your four limbs and dumped you back onto the road. That’s what we do to the sharks, by cutting off their fins and dumping them back into the water,” Marr told The Review.

According to ocean conservation group Oceana, 50 of the 307 shark species in the world are vulnerable or endangered, and Marr said it’s impossible for shark fin consumers to know what poached products they’re buying.

Richmond council has asked staff to research the issue and deliver a report by year’s end.
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Old 07-13-2012, 12:48 PM   #2
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how is it much more cruel to eat shark, vs any other animal? You are still killing an animal and eating the thing.
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Old 07-13-2012, 12:52 PM   #3
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I say... REGULATE!!!!! not BAN completely

but who are we to say, it's not like us Chinese shoot an animal just to grab it's antlers to hang on the wall. or slaughter a cow just for the meat and throw away all the insides.
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Old 07-13-2012, 12:54 PM   #4
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It's not the same as killing a cow. We use almost all of a cow. It's the same as killing an elephant for its ivory tusks and leaving the rest of the carcass to rot. In fact, it's almost identical - the rest of the shark is considered to be so undesirable that in most cases its just thrown overboard. That is absolutely disgusting waste and needs to stop.

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Old 07-13-2012, 12:55 PM   #5
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how is it much more cruel to eat shark, vs any other animal? You are still killing an animal and eating the thing.
Because your just cutting off the fin and tossing it
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Old 07-13-2012, 12:55 PM   #6
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I think shark fin soup is a stupid tradition, everyone trying to copy the life styles of the rich.

Soup never tasted that special to me, I could care less if it was ever served it again. Even if it did taste good, it does not outweigh the consequences.
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Old 07-13-2012, 12:57 PM   #7
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I say... REGULATE!!!!! not BAN completely

but who are we to say, it's not like us Chinese shoot an animal just to grab it's antlers to hang on the wall. or slaughter a cow just for the meat and throw away all the insides.
Maybe there are a few game hunters that don't use the whole animal and just keep the head as a trophy but that is a very small percentage of the hunting population which is a very small percentage of the total population. On the contrast, while not all Chinese can afford shark fin soup, there are over a BILLION Chinese people who aspire to be able to eat it. There is simply no comparison of the scale. It's like saying that the hells angels and one crackhead on Hastings have the same effect on crime, it's just absurd.

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Old 07-13-2012, 01:03 PM   #8
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I reject his restaurant then. Me and everyone that I know who is against shark fin soup.
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Old 07-13-2012, 01:03 PM   #9
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Maybe there are a few game hunters that don't use the whole animal and just keep the head as a trophy but that is a very small percentage of the hunting population which is a very small percentage of the total population. On the contrast, while not all Chinese can afford shark fin soup, there are over a BILLION Chinese people who aspire to be able to eat it. There is simply no comparison of the scale. It's like saying that the hells angels and one crackhead on Hastings have the same effect on crime, it's just absurd.

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hence

Regulate.

put a tax on the damn thing - importation quotas, certification, consumer education re: sustainable sources.
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Old 07-13-2012, 01:04 PM   #10
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Aside from the points given by Chung being absurd and groundless, like saying sharks need to be hunted to regulate fish stocks, he raises a somewhat interesting point;“If the federal government decided we can import shark fin, we should be able to eat it."

It's time for the federal government to take action and ban the importation of shark fins, rather than leaving it up to municipalities to do one at a time. I'll be writing to my MP this afternoon.

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hence

Regulate.
It would be impossible to regulate such a corrupt industry, especially for one municipality in Canada.
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Old 07-13-2012, 01:07 PM   #11
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hence

Regulate.
I agree it would be better to regulate than do nothing at all but really, why do we need to allow it at all? We don't regulate killing elephants for Ivory, we ban it because there is simply no justification or need to kill an endangered species. Some sharks are endangered and some are not but there is no practical way that I am aware of to catch only non-endangered species and if you believe that the Chinese deep-sea fishermen are law-abiding and environmentally friendly enough to release the endangered species when they are caught in a giant net, then I have a bridge to sell you...

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Old 07-13-2012, 01:10 PM   #12
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Just because something is tradition doesn't mean it's ok. Mayan people practiced human sacrifice and African people perform female genital mutilation in the name of tradition.

Tradition is such a weak excuse.
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Old 07-13-2012, 01:10 PM   #13
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hence

Regulate.
gonna need regulators


don't know what's the problem. just use mushrooms for fake shark fin soup. i swear a majority of the people can't tell the difference unless you're told IMO
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Old 07-13-2012, 01:15 PM   #14
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gonna need regulators


don't know what's the problem. just use mushrooms for fake shark fin soup. i swear a majority of the people can't tell the difference unless you're told IMO
that's actually my next point - push for alternatives like the whole salmon thing - educate and regulate. They already have the imitation stuff at Yaohan in their food section, but I KNOW that somewhere down the line that will get attacked as "promoting consumption" as well.

For whatever reason I just think that this is a cultural attack rather than just simply on the food item itself. Think about how the world media is handling the issue. There's a hundred other ways that this issue could have been presented to the public but they always present "CHINESE, CULTURE, TRADITION, and SHARK FIN" in the same line. Think about it - is the actual hunting the only thing that runs thru your mind when you read an article like this? I know a good handful of people that blasted me for being chinese and how fucked up my customs are after reading an article regarding this issue in the Vancouver Sun earlier this week.

TL;DR version:
Yes admittedly it is unsustainable and unethical, but are we dealing with this issue properly and in the correct spotlight?



and on that note it'll be my lost post on this topic
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Old 07-13-2012, 01:32 PM   #15
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For whatever reason I just think that this is a cultural attack rather than just simply on the food item itself. Think about how the world media is handling the issue. There's a hundred other ways that this issue could have been presented to the public but they always present "CHINESE, CULTURE, TRADITION, and SHARK FIN" in the same line. Think about it - is the actual hunting the only thing that runs thru your mind when you read an article like this? I know a good handful of people that blasted me for being chinese and how fucked up my customs are after reading an article regarding this issue in the Vancouver Sun earlier this week.

TL;DR version:
Yes admittedly it is unsustainable and unethical, but are we dealing with this issue properly and in the correct spotlight?
That's totally nonsense. In this case, Chinese, Culture, Tradition, and Shark Fin all go together and all deserve to be there- they are all applicable to the reason why we are even having this discussion. Like many longstanding Chinese traditions, there is NO damn good reason to do it other than "for a long time wealthier and more powerful Chinese than me have been able to do it so I have a blind desire to do it as well." There are no quantifiable health benefits and for god's sake, most accounts say it doesn't even taste that good. I haven't eaten it so I can't comment on that firsthand though.

FYI there is a similar war going on against Foie Gras, and it is equally high profile. It is a predominantly Western civilization tradition but it is getting blasted for its inhumane and unsustainable methods of being produced. There is no mention of Culture or Tradition because people don't eat it here because of its ritualistic appeal that has been sensationalized by generations, it's simply eaten because it is delicious. But the methods of producing it are inhumane and are being rightly attacked because of it.

There is no racial profiling or ethnic bias, it's just a big ass spotlight being cast on an ugly and easily attacked Chinese tradition. It's just so obviously ridiculous that its making some Chinese people feel awfully cornered...

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Old 07-13-2012, 01:44 PM   #16
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The point is Shark Finning is inhumane and wrong on so many levels. Yes it's a animal and we eat cows but we need sharks in our ocean for it to survive and if people go around cutting fins off and tossing them back in it will destory the whole population like we have been seeing in recent numbers.

Yes I respect and understand it "WAS" tradition but tradition changes over time to the knowledge we gain over time. Overall it's wrong and I'm very happy seeing this is finally happening, those who apose it really need to stop being selfish and take a look at the bigger picture of things.
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Old 07-13-2012, 01:51 PM   #17
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It's not the same as killing a cow. We use almost all of a cow. It's the same as killing an elephant for its ivory tusks and leaving the rest of the carcass to rot. In fact, it's almost identical - the rest of the shark is considered to be so undesirable that in most cases its just thrown overboard. That is absolutely disgusting waste and needs to stop.

Mark
On top of this, cows are NOT on the top of the food chain and they are NOT endangered or facing possible extinction like sharks are. Sharks regulate and keep the oceanic ecosystem in check. Whole ecosystems would be fucked if sharks are wiped out.
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Old 07-13-2012, 01:58 PM   #18
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I think it's stupid if they cut the fins off.. and waste the rest of the shark.

The other thing is.. Sure regulate it.
But this means a certain amount of sharks die per year.. if your caught killing sharks without a tag (just like alligators in USA) you should get hefty fines and jail time, no bitching.
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Old 07-13-2012, 02:02 PM   #19
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Hope this ban passes, restaurants will serve the fake stuff that pretty much tastes the same (to my poor man's palate) and for much cheaper!

My mother wrote an article on the whole shark finning process, it's fucking sick. If anyone really thinks tradition takes precedence over being humane, something is fucking wrong with you. (I'd imagine serial killers view "traditions" in the same manner)
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Old 07-13-2012, 02:02 PM   #20
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I must say the following-I'm not asian, so I don't get the tradition of it.

I also think its a disgusting practice, right up there with whaling.

However, I really am against the government banning the consumption of something. I don't like big government. And I REALLY don't like this at a municipal level.

However again...I do support a ban on the fishing and importing of it. Regulating an industry is something that happens all the time. Really, I'm just arguing the semantics of it all.
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Old 07-13-2012, 02:04 PM   #21
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Oh, and the absurdity of man saying that the fishing of shark keeps population in check is just insane.

The oceans don't need man at all...that's why we are land creatures by default.
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Old 07-13-2012, 02:07 PM   #22
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I'm going to be the complete dick bag here.
Who are we to say, what someone else can or can't eat. You don't like shark fin, go ahead don't eat it. Don't force your belief on other people. I know there's no benefits to eating it, i like the texture. However, i choose to no longer eat it. However, i won't look down on you if you eat it. The arguments of top level predator is also pretty weak, a lot of fish we eat are considered top level predators. Large Cods, halibut, are top level predators. Are you going to stop eating it? Yes, a lot of cods are going to be extinct because we have decimated the population. Think about it the next time you eat fish and chips. Finning is not practice as much often as people think. Please go do some research on it. More often then not, the fish is turned into fish meal or sold. Don't listen to what greenpeace or peta is telling you.

Do i, as a person think, government should ban it?
NO, you think people won't be able to get a hand on it?
Great, the government can ban it, what if the a lobby group decides a pizza is bad for you and petitions the government to ban it?
Do i, as a person think, you shouldn't eat it and stopped eating it?
Yes, and i would tell me friends and family not to eat it, but never force them to stop.

Education =/= legislation
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eating sharks fin is a tradition??? lol I think its more of a status..

that guy is mad coz he wont be making the monies...
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its treasued as a tradition so much that their own country banned it :S
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I'm going to be the complete dick bag here.
Who are we to say, what someone else can or can't eat. You don't like shark fin, go ahead don't eat it. Don't force your belief on other people. I know there's no benefits to eating it, i like the texture. However, i choose to no longer eat it. However, i won't look down on you if you eat it. The arguments of top level predator is also pretty weak, a lot of fish we eat are considered top level predators. Large Cods, halibut, are top level predators. Are you going to stop eating it? Yes, a lot of cods are going to be extinct because we have decimated the population. Think about it the next time you eat fish and chips. Finning is not practice as much often as people think. Please go do some research on it. More often then not, the fish is turned into fish meal or sold. Don't listen to what greenpeace or peta is telling you.

Do i, as a person think, government should ban it?
NO, you think people won't be able to get a hand on it?
Great, the government can ban it, what if the a lobby group decides a pizza is bad for you and petitions the government to ban it?
Do i, as a person think, you shouldn't eat it and stopped eating it?
Yes, and i would tell me friends and family not to eat it, but never force them to stop.

Education =/= legislation
You're a fucking moron. The core issue at discussion isn't banning eating shark fin soup, it's banning catching endangered sharks and especially banning catching them and wasting 99% of them to just hack the fins off. Your comparison to pizza is the most moronic thing I have ever read on this forum. The last time I checked, pizzas did not contain any endangered animals...

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