July 1, 2014
The Chinese Government Should Consider Banning Shark Fin from Menus
China is the biggest shark fin consumer. In China, there are a large amount of people like eating shark fin. It is normal for people to see shark fin on menus, and almost all top restaurants have shark fin on menus. Actually, shark fin on menus becomes a more important problem. The Chinese government should solve this problem. It is important for the Chinese government to know the disadvantages of harvesting shark fin, the real situation of shark fin in the world, and actions the government should do.
First, the Chinese government needs to know the disadvantages of harvesting shark fin. As we know, shark fin is an important part of sharks. The functions of shark fin are removal and retention. If sharks lose shark fin, they may be eaten by other predators because they cannot move and have slow speed so that they cannot avoid other predators. Also, because of losing shark fin, sharks cannot go back to the deep ocean, and they may die near the beach. For catching sharks without limited, it brings some disadvantages.
One of the disadvantages is the extinction of sharks. Sharks are different from normal food animals for pigs and chicken because pigs and chicken can be easy farmed by people. “Sharks cannot be farmed economically, have a much longer reproductive cycle, and many species are predators at the top of the food chain.” The speed of people harvesting shark fin is fast, and the speed of sharks’ growing is slow. The two steps don not match. “As a result of years of large-scale fin harvesting, one third of the world’s nearly 500 shark species are facing extinction” (Horton).
Another disadvantage is shark fin harvesting makes the ocean worse. “The practice of cutting the fins off of living sharks and dumping them back in the ocean is not only cruel, but it harms the health of our oceans” (Lin). I made an in-person interview with a shark expert called Hong Lei. In the question “What problem does harvest shark fin bring,” he said “Every year, 73 million sharks died because of shark fin trade. Harvesting shark fin will bring a big damage to the environment. It will influence the ocean and the economic. It’s not good for sustainable development.”
The environment system is complex and close. Every little change may influence the whole system. Sharks are the top predators in the ocean. Harvesting sharks without limited may lead to many kinds of fish lose enemies, and this will damage oceanic ecological balance. Here is another example. Canada Newfoundland was famous for cod, but “[i]n the summer of 1992, as boat after boat returned to this windswept land with empty nets, Canadian officials did something once unthinkable: They banned fishing cod.” In addition, “[t]he ban has yet to be lifted, and 20 years later the cod have failed to rebound, despite predictions that the moratorium would revive the stock after a few years” (Abel). The reason why this happened is because people catching fishes immoderate, and also due to people’s greed. The same as sharks. If people still harvesting shark fin without limited, people will face the same situation again. Not only influences the economics, but also makes the earth worse.
Second, the Chinese government needs to know the real situation in the world. In the national, many countries and organizations focus on shark fin problem. They have published laws to improve shark fin problem. This problem has a good situation because more and more countries and organizations have actions. Also, people start to appeal to ban shark fin from menus.
“Meanwhile, in Europe, California and elsewhere, loopholes that allowed shark finning to continue have been closed” (Vidal). This is a really good situation. In the article “Shark Fin Trade Banned In California: Jerry Brown Signs Bill”, “California’s government announced Friday that he signed a bill banning the sale, trade and