The inspiration for the Fiji Or Bust 4-part post series came from a tweet from the Ocean Conservancy (@OceanConservancy) linking an article called Sharks Thrive in Fiji’s Protected Waters from livescience.com which made me think: “If I were a shark, I would want to move there.”
And voilà! The Bramble family was born.
If you read closely, you will notice several subtle (and not so subtle) references to the players in the shark finning industry on both sides of the battle. Of course, all characters are fictitious and any similarity in the names or nationalities of the individuals are purely coincidental.
My purpose for crafting the story was to raise awareness within a social context that humans thrive in (family and friends) and to connect you to the heart of a shark. By giving a shark an identity and a personality, it becomes more difficult to objectify her and consequently assault her with the cruelty of a callous psychopath.
Using the excuse that a shark might find you scrumptious if you were not “rotten from the inside out” (as Mr. Bramble puts it in Fiji Or Bust) is plain silly. All we need to do as a species is to make sure we don’t starve the poor creatures by destroying their reefs and overfishing their food source to the point of collapse.
Pretty simple, eh?
This Woman Not Waiting, for one, is quite pleased to announce that I taste pretty darn good to Mr. Bramble.
So let’s look at the issue and what we can do about it.
If you are looking for a good incentive to make a small change to your love of the fin, I highly recommend that you watch the documentary Sharkwater by Rob Stewart (Hey! GRRREAAAT name!). Here’s the trailer:
Sharkwater did not only win 31 international awards, it had a monumental impact on inciting a grass-roots movement to pressure governments to ban shark fin soup.
Even today, the awareness grows as New York state “one of the largest markets for shark fins outside Asia and the largest port of entry for shark fins on the East Coast” bans the possession, sale, trade and distribution of shark fins. (see the HumanSociety.org post: New York Ends Shark Fin Trade)
In a clam shell, humans (not humane) capture a shark using longline fishing, whisk her onto the deck of a blood drenched boat, use a Uruk Hai sword to chop off all her fins (well, not really a sword, but it might as well be…it’s a pretty big knife), then throw her overboard in searing agony where she slowly spirals downwards and drowns. All this is done when she is STILL ALIVE.
Now as Mr. Bobbitt can attest to, having an appendage chopped off while still conscious stings a bit.
But is shark fin soup really that tasty? It’s the broth that gives it flavour. The fin is there merely for texture. In that case, why not use tofu shark fins?
If the tofu chefs have figured out how to make bacon, cheese, yogurt, gelato, hot dogs, hamburgers, meatloaf, etc…then it just seems natural to extend their savoir faire to the ocean faring species. Didn’t tofu and shark fin soup originate from the same country anyway?
Or if you must have fish slime in your soup, then pick one recommended by SeaChoice.
There are always alternatives. And it is you, the Woman Not Waiting, who has the power to pressure the fishing industry to stop shark finning.
Go ahead! Speak up for the silent with your reusable polka-dot grocery bag. Stomp those sexy heels of yours. You’re foxy and you know it.
Do you have a shark fin tofu soup recipe to share? Send in a comment below…make it yummy!