Americans who eat shark fin soup—an Asian delicacy costing up to $100 per bowl in the United States—might be unknowingly consuming an endangered species. According to an unprecedented scientific analysis by Stony Brook University, the Field Museum in Chicago and with support from the Pew Environment Group, the shark fin soup served in 14 U.S. cities contains at-risk species, including scalloped hammerhead, which is listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as Endangered globally.
HONG KONG — China said Tuesday that it would prohibit official banquets from serving shark fin soup, an expensive and popular delicacy blamed for a sharp decline in global shark populations.
The ban, reported by Xinhua, the state-run news agency, could take as many as three years to take effect, and it remains unclear how widely it will be adhered to across a sprawling nation where orders issued by Beijing are often shrugged off by officials in faraway regions and provinces.
Sharks are among the most threatened of marine species worldwide due to unsustainable overfishing. They are primarily killed for their fins to fuel the growing demand for shark fin soup, which is an Asia delicacy. A new study by University of Miami (UM) scientists in the journal Marine Drugs has discovered high concentrations of BMAA in shark fins, a neurotoxin linked to neurodegenerative diseases in humans including Alzheimer's and Lou Gehrig Disease (ALS).
Toronto city council has voted to ban the sale of shark fin in the city. The ban, suggested by councillors John Parker, Glenn De Baeremaeker and Kristyn Wong-Tam, will outlaw the possession, sale, trade and distribution of shark fins or their derivative products.
The proposal passed easily - by a vote of 38 to 4.
Shark fins are used in a soup that is often served at traditional Chinese weddings.