There are some things you just don’t eat. You don’t eat food that is from endangered species. You don’t eat food that has no taste. You don’t eat food from sources where the harvesting of the animal was cruel. This means- you don’t eat shark fin soup.

Shark fin soup was traditionally considered a delicacy, served for weddings, or business banquets. It is a sign of wealth, of prestige often costing over $100 per bowl of soup. This has led to an entire industry of “fishing” for sharks for their fins- leading to wholesale slaughter of sharks, some of which are endangered species. Irresponsible fishermen cutting the fins off sharks as they are alive, then tossing them back into the ocean for a slow, miserable death.

An endangered Hammer Head Shark- defined while alive

All of this for a soup that doesn’t have much flavor – does not look appealing – and has health risks (high levels of mercury). The claims for health benefits from sharks have been proven incorrect – as a physician, who has examined the data—shark does not provide any health benefits for humans at all, and in fact, should never be consumed because of the potential high levels of mercury.

The shark is a magnificent creature- having been around for over 400 million years. It provides an important ecologic place in our oceans. The movie “Jaws” may have terrified us, but that is just a movie.

One of the finer palates in the food industry, Gordon Ramsay, will tell you that the soup is about as interesting as a bowl of consume, saying “so sad the damage is being caused for nothing.”

There is not much I won’t eat, or won’t try. Traveling the world for the finest, freshest ingredients- and bringing home recipes for family, friends, and patients. But this is one dish that should not be tried- or encouraged.

Left to die a slow death on the ocean floor.

Remove the prestige from shark fin soup. It may have been so when someone would fish for the shark, and bring it to the table – but the wholesale slaughter by mafia-fishermen, often done illegally – turns this tasteless soup from prestige to shame.

This magnificent fish- defined while alive – an endangered Hammerhead