Click here to see a graphic picture of what shark fins, ripped off of sharks, look like. Not too pretty.
SHANGHAI — NBA star and Shanghai Sharks owner Yao Ming urged China on Friday to say no to shark fin soup to stop the overfishing of some species amid growing demand for the delicacy.
The Houston Rockets centre who recently bought his hometown's professional team, unveiled a television commercial aimed at wealthy Chinese which urges them to stop ordering shark fin soup.
"We have species that need our attention and protection," Yao told reporters at a press conference launching the campaign.
"They are endangered by excessive hunting by humans and deprived of habitats due to human greed."
The television advertisement produced for the San Francisco-based conservation group WildAid shows Yao pushing away a bowl of shark fin soup that is served to him in an upmarket restaurant.
"If you could see how shark fin is made, could you still eat it?" a voice asks as Yao looks at an aquarium in the dining room where a bleeding shark flails after its fin has been cut off.Read On
I just did a search on youku.com for the video of this ad but couldn't find it. Oh well.
I never had shark's fin in China. Maybe this shows that I have never been REALLY wined and dined to a nice meal. I've eaten plenty of nice meals and banquets, but nothing as nice as having shark fin soup included.
Qian tells me that the cheapest shark fin soup costs about 100RMB (more than $10) for a tiny bowl. I remember seeing dried shark's fin in more upscale supermarkets in Xi'an (Walmart, Metro, etc.) for about 3000RMB (about $400) for a small box.
Although the article says that Chinese people believe eating shark fin is good for one's health, Qian tells me that, from her experience, Chinese people do not see any nutritional value in eating shark fin but instead eat it simply as a sign of status.
The article puts some startling numbers forward:
"Growing demand for shark fin -- driven mainly by Chinese consumers -- had caused populations of some shark species to collapse by as much as 99 percent, WildAid said."To me, Yao Ming is tackling a noble topic trying to get wealthy Chinese people away from eating as much shark fin as they do.