Update: follow up article here.
The other night while having Chinese at Silver Pond with a friend, we debated about ordering the shark fin soup. "If you were in the ocean, the shark wouldn't think twice about eating you," my friend rationalized. He was hell bent on ordering a bowl. His response didn't move me. Is shark fin soup really still legal?
To harvest fins, ships trolling Central and South America, Taiwan, Indonesia, or Spain catch sharks, slice off fins and toss bodies back -- to the tune of 73 million a year. Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, and California have recently banned shark fin trade. And finning is banned in federal waters. Fins are among the most expensive items from the sea, fetching more than $300 a pound. Despite controversy, the market for fins is on the rise as more Chinese attain wealth abroad.
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