In the Soup, A Dash of Biodiversity

This article dealt with the detrimental practice of “shark finning,” and what what the fins are used for. Specifically, the fins are used in a dish served all throughout Asia– shark fin soup. Biologist, Dennis Chapman recently asserted that consumers of shark fish soup have little knowledge of what exactly is being served. Together with field collaborators from the Field Museum in Chicago and the Pew Environmental Group, Chapman determined just what was being served in restaurants all throughout Asia. Among the many species identified were blue sharks, shortfin mako sharks, and bull sharks. Furthermore, many of the DNA samples were form endangered species of sharks. Chapman succeeded in identifying remnants of DNA found in various samples of shark fin soup. The populations of many species of sharks have declined by half in the last 50 years, making “finning” extremely controversial. The affected sharks are left to bleed to death, or drown after thier fins have been removed.

Sarah Perez

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