Sharks are at the top of the ocean’s food chain and they play an important role in the ecosystem. For example, without sharks, smaller sea creatures will become extinct because they depend on sharks to eat their predators. Algae/ plankton over-populate due to the diminishing smaller ocean creatures that feed on them. Population of fish that are food for sharks will be out of control.
|Ocean’s food chain. Photo: britannica kids|
During shark finning, fins are removed from sharks, they are then discarded alive. The sharks can’t survive long without their fins as they are unable to swim or move their necks to pump water over the gills to get oxygen.
|Fins are removed then the sharks discarded alive. Photo: change.org|
Millions of sharks are harvested every year for their fins. In weddings, fins are used to make shark fin soup, most popular in Chinese culture. Shark fin soup is strongly tied to gatherings/ celebrations such as weddings (85%) [weddingwithoutfins.com]
Shark fins by themselves are quite tasteless without the broth cooked together with other ingredients like chicken, crab meat, etc. So, why not have a wedding without fins?
Shark fin soup can be replaced with seafood/ chicken soup or “Buddha jumps over the wall”.
“Buddha jumps over the wall” or “fat thew chiong” is a rich taste stew which has ingredients such as quail eggs, bamboo shoots, scallops, sea cucumber, abalone, chicken, Jinhua ham, pork tendon, ginseng, mushrooms, and taro.
|Left: “Buddha jumps over the wall”. Right: Braised bird’s nest soup with conpoy, winter melon and crabmeat. Photo by lynntazyyang|