Rane and I were surfing through a pet forum when we came across a thread titled 'Petition to Stop Using Dogs as Live Baits".
I've heard of how rabbits are being used as baits in dog racing competitions, but Dogs as Live Baits? That's the first time I've heard of it. I clicked on it and this was what I saw.
The Above Picture is taken from The Sun
Please help to sign the petition if you will like to save these poor dogs from being live baits.
Please click on this link to read more about the Dogs Used as Shark Baits.
Abstract of the article "Stray dogs are being skewered on hooks and dragged behind boats as live shark baits ............"
Though the start of the petition is a good move, it will do little to eradicate the problem of sharks being endangered, and dogs being cruelly used as live baits. I personally feel the root of the problem is people's love for eating sharks. When there's no demand for sharks fin, meat and/or cartilage, no one will bother to hunt for sharks as to supply for the growing market.
Although the solution sounds like a simple approach, it'll take a long time for people to stop consuming sharks, especially when Shark Fins Soup is termed to be a Delicacy by Asians.
I'm a Chinese who is born and brought up in Singapore. Since young, I have been to wedding dinners and other functions that serve 6 to 10 course dinner comprising of various chinese dishes. During dinner, most guests will look out particularly for the shark fins soup. It seems to be the highlight of every dinner. If the shark fins were added to the soup in small portions, people will start criticising on how stingy the chef was.
It seems to me that people are more concerned about how good a deal they are getting. Since shark fins soup is usually one of the more expensive dishes in the whole course of meal, people take it that by having more shark fins in the soup, you are getting a better deal. At times, it makes me wonder if these people truly enjoyed having shark fins soup or were they more concerned about the monetary value of the shark fins itself.
I have to admit that shark fins soup taste delicious, But in my personal opinion, it isn't the taste of the shark fin itself that taste awesome. It's a combination of the chef's culinary skills on top of other ingredients, such as chicken and pork bones, dried scallops and that is used to prepare the broth. To be honest, even if the chef were to substitute the shark fins with rice vermicelli, I would have found the soup equally delicious.
At times, I even detest the taste of the shark fins itself because it wasn't prepared properly and the shark fins ended tasting fishy; with a slight foul smell (like those of an unfresh fish). Ironically, I have read that shark fins itself is tasteless.
To be frank, I didn't know the extent of cruelty when people hunt for sharks and what the impact of declining sharks has on our environment. Worst of all, I didn't know that sharks are getting endangered until I started watching a documentary film on television.
I was utterly disgusted when I saw how these fishermen cruelly chopped off the fins of the sharks while they are still alive, before throwing their bodies back into the sea. When being thrown into the sea, these sharks are still alive and struggling to live. I felt really sick upon seeing how bloody the ship was stained and how that part of the ocean started turning red as those people started 'dumping' countless of shark bodies back into the water.
Since then, I've told myself to avoid eating shark fins soup so long as it's within my capable means. Needless to say, shark fins soup is going to be off my list of dinner menu when my big day comes.
Some Interesting Facts
Why the Huge Popularity of Shark Fins Soup?
Apparently, shark fin as an ingredient dates back to the second century BC in southern China. Traditionally, it was the wealthier classes that could afford shark fin and it became associated with privilege and social rank, a symbol of extravagance and wealth. However, as the buying power of people in Asia has increased exponentially, the demand for shark fins has likewise grown.
Wasteful Nature of the Finning Industry
Once the shark is landed, the fins are hacked off (often while the shark is still alive) and the rest of the animal discarded overboard. This means that 95%-99% of the shark is wasted. As a result of increased levels of industrial shark finning, poor coastal communities in the developing world that rely on shark meat for their protein are reporting serious declines in shark catches.
Sharks without Fins Can't Survive
Usually, the shark is caught, and while it is still alive, its fins are chopped off by fishermen. The poor shark is then thrown back into the sea. Without its fins, it cannot survive. It either bleeds to death or drowns, as sharks cannot swim without their fins and need to swim forwards to get oxygen.
A study in the northwest Atlantic ocean revealed that shark populations have declined by more than 50% in the last 15 years. Some species, particularly hammerhead sharks, have declined by an alarming 89%. Scientists believe this is reflective of a worldwide trend.
The above information is extracted from the following websites:
Sharks in Hot Water (abc.net)