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Fin de Shark Fin [Rebroadcast]
Fin de Shark Fin [Rebroadcast]

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AIR DATE: October 17, 2011

Shark fins are a popular dish among Chinese, but unfortunately sharks are often harvested using inhumane methods. Many want to see it banned, and in many states it has been. 
 
But what does the banning of this popular dish mean for Chinese Americans and Chinese tourists visiting the Las Vegas Strip?  We talk to food writer Al Mancini about this culturally devisive dish.
 
GUESTS
Al Mancini, food critic and writer, LV CityLife
Kian Lam Kho, Chinese Cuisine Blogger, redcook.net

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COMMENTS:
I agree that shark can be delicious -- as I said on the show. As for the brutality issue as compared to slaughterhouses, you have a point. However slaughterhouses are not wasteful and they aren't leading to the extinction of a species. In my opinion, shark fin is the most objectionable ingredient out there because it combines cruelty, environmental devestation and wastefullness.
Al ManciniOct 13, 2011 14:32:38 PM
Yes, I appreciate that you said you enjoyed shark steak in the program. You also did close with saying you wanted to put this concern out there for further conversation. My annoyance was directed primarily at the SON show prep - K/NPR (and PBS) you are the last bastion of intelligent news gathering and presentation in the US. If you get something wrong, it makes us wonder what else is wrong. (and yes I am a paying member of both) So how much of the demand for shark fin soup is satisfied in Las Vegas? If it were truly and completely banned from major casino kitchens here, would it really affect the market or would it just be symbolic? Perhaps what needs to be done is to start a rumor that eating shark fin causes sexual dysfunction. And, what if all the shark fishers, as standard practice, killed the sharks as soon as they are brought on board. Wouldn't this would address the cruelty aspect? (how many sharks are caught via longline? Wouldn't this mean most of these sharks are already dead - having died from lack of water movement) I must say that the outlook appears grim to me. Humanity has crashed many other fisheries - even those less lucrative than shark fin. So e
aunty palinOct 14, 2011 12:46:40 PM
(continuing from above) Humanity has crashed many other fisheries - even those less lucrative than shark fin. So even if the rest of the shark is utilized, this probably won't reduce the fishing pressure on shark populations and how it will affect the rest of the food chain / environmental balance. I will quibble that (to me) US livestock cruelty is more detestable because it is a directly controllable industrial/corporate situation. What portion of shark fin fishing is done by unregulated "independents" vs corporate fleets? This was touched upon in the program.
aunty palinOct 14, 2011 12:50:02 PM
Geez, what a poorly researched segment. Shark is tough /inedible? Perhaps if sharks are not properly handled after capture. The shark blood must be drained or the urea in the blood affects the flesh. How about a fisheries biologist to add credibility to the population impacts. Would shark fin soup be acceptable if the rest of the shark were used? If someone in the US is going to complain about shark brutality they should also complain/boycott much of the livestock practices here as well.
Aunty PalinOct 13, 2011 10:08:15 AM
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