My name is Winnie Ip, I was born in a fisherman’s family. My father, Wai-sun Ip is a fisherman. My mother, Wai-ling Ip helps my father with the fishing. For most of the day, they stay on the boat. I am at school for much of the time, but you must also help with the fishing. We must work together if we are to survive. One day, I went to help my father fish. We had a great catch on that day. To our surprise, there was a shark in our catch! Father was shocked to find he had caught a shark amongst the other unwanted creatures from the sea.
His intention is not to catch shark but it got trapped in the nets. It was about three metres long and weighed more than 200 kilograms. It was tied up in our nets. Father untied the nets, pulled the shark out of the net and put it onto the deck carefully. Then he took out a sharp knife that was bloodstained, and he cut off all of the fins on its body. During this process, the shark was still alive. After all its fins were cut off, the shark would not died yet, father threw it back into the sea unexpectedly.
I could saw the shark had been twisting its body, but it couldn’t move as normal because all the fins on its body had been cut away! Including its tail fin, the back fin, and pectoral fins… It had to struggle for a few days before it died. It would die of hunger or from the continual bleeding in its wounds. It could only lie on the seabed and wait for its unavoidable death. Oh no… I really felt sorry for the shark, this was too cruel to the animal. The shark was innocent and guiltless, but just because of the greediness of human beings, the shark had been killed.
I was very sad because sharks are becoming extinct, but I also know how pleased my father would be to receive the money from the sale of this valuable fish. Many species of shark are in danger. Thousands of tones of dried fins from millions of sharks are cooked and turned into shark fin soup mainly in China and some other Asian countries. Shark fins are expensive. Now days, a piece of first-rate shark fin could cost at least one thousand US dollars. Until now, men caught sharks because of their fins, teeth, skin, and the natural oils; in these recent years, we even wanted to obtain the cartilage of sharks.
The Chinese are the main demanders of shark fins. Since the Song Dynasty, ‘Shark Fins With Soup’ is a famous dish in the Chinese meal. The dry shark fins were always used as a tribute to offer to the Chinese emperors. Because shark fins contain proteins and ossein, a well-known Chinese medical book mentioned that the shark fins helps the blood circulation, and keep our bodies healthy. Until today, people like to eat shark fins. Especially in the celebrating parties, marriages, and gatherings. In fact, shark fins don’t have any taste.
People love to eat them just because of the chicken, which is also used in the soup. Moreover, it was very difficult to catch sharks in ancient time that is why the dry shark fins had become a valuable food in China. Have you ever thought that the extinction of sharks may lead to a serious problem for human being? It is not just because we cannot have shark fins soup again due to lack of shark fins, but the extinction of shark may destroy the food chain in the natural environment, the numbers of different creatures will be disorder, and finally, the human beings will suffer.