Changing Tides: The Shark Fin Controversy

Shark fins for sale in Hong Kong

American author, Aldo Leopold once wrote, “conservation is a state of harmony between men and land.”  Recently it has become clear that this quote also applies to the sea and its occupants.

Over the past couple of weeks, our local Singapore news has focused on the controversy of serving and selling shark fins.

Historically, Chinese have considered shark fin one of the eight treasured foods from the sea.  Fins were seen as a noble and precious commodity—fit for the tables of the emperors.  Because of the association with luxury and wealth, shark fins are traditionally served only at important events.

However, the shark population has suffered a rapid decline.  With more than 73 million sharks killed each year (mostly for their fins) many of the species are facing extinction.

As a result, many shops and restaurants have announced their ceasing to sell sharks fin as part of efforts towards environmental sustainability.  Capella Singapore is also offering alternative to the Shark Fin Soup.  Among the options are Braised Bird’s Nest, Braised Superior Dried Seafood Broth and Double-boiled Abalone Soup.  In addition to offering these alternatives, we are also offering incentives for those who select these options.

I hope that our contribution will help to maintain the very fragile balance of life in our seas.  Tradition is nothing if we can’t find a way to live in harmony!

 

Photo Credit: ©Conservation International/photo by Emilie Verdon