Shark fin is often seen as a delicacy in Chinese cuisine. But the practice of finning sharks is nothing short of brutal. Sharks are caught at sea, their fins are sliced off and they are often thrown back into the ocean where they bleed to death or drown. Tens of millions of sharks are killed annually and the decline of sharks affects our entire ocean ecosystem, as sharks are apex predators and keep other species in check.
But apparently Chef Jack Lee of Chiniose Cuisine hasn't heard. The Hollywood caterer has plans to introduce a $100 lobster egg roll containing shark fin to Tinsel Town's elite, according to Grub Street Los Angeles. The introduction of this dish, like its endangered ingredient, is tasteless.
Right now, California is considering a ban on the sale and possession of shark fin. As Pulitzer-prize winning Los Angeles food critic Jonathan Gold recently wrote about the ingredient, we “either stop eating it because we choose to preserve the species, or we stop eating it because soon there will be none left to eat." In a recent poll, 70% of Chinese-American voters in California support the ban.
It’s time to take shark fin off the menu.
Photo: YoTuT via Flickr
I am writing to you as a concerned consumer, after learning that Chef Jack Lee will be adding shark fin as an ingredient to his new lobster egg roll. Due to the overall decline of shark populations worldwide, and the fact that we need sharks as part of a functioning ocean ecosystem, I am urging Chef Lee to remove shark fin from his menu. Due to demand from chefs, millions of sharks, some of which are endangered, are slaughtered annually in the wasteful and brutal process of finning.
As California currently considers a ban on the sale and possession of shark fin, it seems irresponsible in every way to add it to a new dish.
Please take shark fin off your menu.