Wednesday, August 15, 2012

There's a Hammer in the Soup?

Shark fin soup is considered a delicacy in China, but the soup is not exclusively served in that country. Honk Kong remains the largest importer of shark fins in the world, but the soup can easily be found in the United States. Shark finning itself is illegal in United States territorial waters, but fins are still easily bought into the country. What a lot of people don't realize is just where the fins are coming from and what species of shark are being killed the most. First though, it is important to know just what shark fin soup is before learning what goes into making it. Shark fin soup is incredibly easy to make, but has major drawbacks... What you need to make the soup is....

Chicken or Beef flavored soup
Shark fins
Whatever seasonings and spices you wish to add for extra flavor

Notice that the soup itself and the seasonings add flavor to the soup, but there is nothing next to shark fins. Here is what shark fins do for shark fin soup.

Adds a gelatinous texture
Adds a heavy dose of Mercury
Adds no flavor
Adds no nutritional value

As you can easily see, the sharks fins realistically do nothing for the soup outside of adding an unneeded texture to the soup. Of course the need for fins is realistically unnecessary. Some of the world's most famous and endangered species of shark fall victim to the brutal practice of shark finning on a daily basis. Included in this list of sharks are the...

Great Hammerhead
Scalloped Hammerhead
Great White Shark
Tiger Shark
Sand Tiger Shark
Bull Shark
Lemon Shark
Blue Shark
Shortfin Mako Shark
Whale Shark
Sandbar Shark
Blacktip Shark
Oceanic Whitetip Shark

The list goes on and on. Each and every one of the named species are currently threatened with extinction. The Great and Scalloped Hammerheads are currently listed as full blown Endangered Species on the IUCN's Red List, while the Great White Shark, Whale Shark, Sandbar Shark, and Sand Tiger Shark are all listed as Vulnerable to extinction. Meaning these sharks are also at an elevated risk of extinction.

Shark fin soup is sold in the USA as well as many other countries around the world. One of the big problems that restaurants face is just what species of shark are being used in the soup. When the fins arrive, they have been dried out and look very similar. In a recent survey conducted by people who were attacked by sharks, but are now fighting to save sharks, in conjunction with Discovery Channel, PEW Environmental Group, and Stony Brook University found that many of the samples contained endangered species! Meaning Great and Scalloped Hammerheads.

Hammerhead Sharks are some of the most endangered species in the world. Their populations have been totally decimated and are in severe jeopardy of never recovering. Hammerhead populations worldwide are continuing to decrease at an alarming rate. Even around the famous Cocos Islands, Hammerhead populations are at an all time low. The primary reason these sharks are killed is strictly for their fins. However they also fall victim to long lines. Often times when these animals get hooked they will fight to unhook themselves and wind up getting entangled in the line and drown. This particular problem is not exclusive to Hammerheads and includes various species of shark, fish, sea turtles, marine mammals, and birds. For a species that is in such a crisis as Hammerheads though, long lines pose a massive threat.

Hammerhead sharks are by far one of nature's most interesting animals due to their heads that are oddly enough, shaped like a hammer. They have captivated the imagination of both children and adults around the world and have become one of the most popular species of shark on Earth. Now though it seems that their time on this planet may be coming to an end forever. After all, how can an animal that looks like this...

not bring up any kind of question in a person's head? Hammerheads are beautiful creatures and have a very complex social life as well. Want proof? Check out this photo...

Scalloped Hammerhead sharks schooling together is one of the most interesting phenoms that exist on this planet. These sharks that can get to be quite large in size go from being solitary creatures, to being incredible social creatures seemingly overnight.

Hammerhead shark populations have decreased by a massive 99%! They need our help now more than ever. If you live along the East Coast of the United States, up to New York, odds are these sharks have swam by your very own beaches. In over 400 years, there have been a grand total of 2 shark attacks attributed to Scalloped and Great Hammerheads combined. Just 2 attacks. Neither were fatal and both were provoked. The moral is that Hammerhead Sharks have never killed a single human being. Yet man kills millions and millions of these sharks every year. How is it fair or even possible for and to ruthlessly hunt down these amazing creatures? Protection is needed NOW for these sharks. Every day that passes by, more of these sharks are being killed. If we do not act NOW. This will be the fate of every last Hammerhead Shark on Earth.

Please help save these amazing creatures! All it takes is one person alerting another to what is going on to create something amazing! It is not too late to save the Hammerheads, but time is running out, the time to act for all sharks is NOW!!!!!! For more information on other ways you can help save sharks visit...

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