Shark ’s Fin Soup: Is It Safe?

Is industrial grade hydrogen peroxide and ammonia being used to bleach shark’s fins?

That is what some disturbing news reports seem to suggest.

“Recent news reports in China and Hong Kong have circulated footage of an underground shark fin processing factory that uses industrial grade hydrogen peroxide and ammonia to bleach fins,” says WildAid, a non-profit organization headquartered in San Francisco, California, with representation in Britain, Canada, China, the Galapagos, and India.

“This residential-house-converted factory is located at a village in Foshan, Guangzhou. Inside the shark fin processing room a dozen of workers, without factory uniforms and some without gloves, wash unprocessed shark fins in front of a small pool of hot water. The shark fins are then bleached in a bucket of bubbling pungent white liquid which, according to the workers, is a mixture of industrial grade hydrogen peroxide and ammonia.”

WildAid was founded by Steve Trent, who has had more than 20 years experience in environmental advocacy, investigations, training, and project management, and Peter Knights, who specializes in conducting on-site investigations globally and campaigning against the wild bird trade for pets and consumption of endangered species in traditional Chinese medicine, such as bear gallbladder, rhino horn, and tiger bone.

With a mission “to reduce consumer demand for endangered wildlife products and to encourage responsible energy consumption behavior,” WildAid carries out “global public awareness campaigns, field conservation programmes, and enforcement of marine protected areas”.

Readers Respond

Writes Ozmars (location unknown)
 
Let me think . . . No. Not until they stop slicing the fins off the sharks and tossing them back in the ocean (cause having no fins works real well in the water). I’m so glad this is in WTF [of Reddit] and am assuming it’s because the OP abhors the practice in the first place, aside from the whole ammonia and peroxide thing.
14 October 2010 (via Reddit)

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