Taiwan civic groups protest sale of shark-fin soupJanuary 23rd, 2010 - 7:04 pm ICT by IANS
Taipei, Jan 23 (DPA) Taiwan environmentalist groups Saturday protested against chain stores selling shark-fin soup as killing sharks for their fins can lead to their extinction.
The protest was made by 23 civic groups against four chains which are accepting orders for pre-cooked and ready-to-cook meals for the Chinese New Year holidays, that begin Feb 14.
The targeted firms are 7-11, Family Mart, OK Mart and Hi-Life, which together operate nearly 10,000 24-hour convenience stores on the island.
“Lured by high profits, fishermen kill sharks only for their fins. They cut off shark’s fins and dump the sharks into the sea and let them bleed to death,” said Wang Yu-min, director of the Environment & Animal Society of Taiwan.
“Each year, some 4,000 to 7,000 sharks are killed for their fins. The International Union for Conservation of Nature warned that 111 species of shark are being threatened, of which 20 species are seriously threatened and 25 species face extinction,” she said.
“Sharks are the biggest predators in the sea and are at the top of the marine food chain. Killing sharks will disrupt the food chain and ecosystem of the sea,” she said.
The statement demanded that the franchises remove shark-fin soup from their Chinese New Year menu, and urged restaurants, hotels and families to refrain from selling and consuming it as well.
Shark-fin soup is one of the traditional Chinese New Year dishes and an important dish at wedding banquets. Many Chinese believe the soup is nutritious and being able to afford it reflects one’s wealth and social status.
Tags: animal society, chinese new year, civic groups, conservation of nature, convenience stores, environmentalist groups, face extinction, fins, fishermen, hi life, marine food chain, new year holidays, ok mart, shark fin soup, sharks, species face, species of shark, targeted firms, wang yu, wedding banquets