Manningham takes shark fin soup off the menuby Shaun Turton, Manningham Leader, 05. October 2011
SHARK fin soup has been taken off the menu at Manningham Council’s function centre in response to a complaint from an animal cruelty lobby group.
The dish was hastily dumped last week after the Manningham Function Centre appeared on the Australian Anti Shark Finning Alliance’s (TAASFA) internet “wall of shame”.
Council chief executive Lydia Wilson said: “The practice of harvesting sharks for fins and tails is unacceptable, cruel and should be stopped.”
TAASFA director Mick Dowers said the majority of the “tens of millions of sharks” killed each year for shark fin soup had their fins and tails cut off before being thrown back into the ocean.
But Dale Sumner, of the Lakes Entrance Fishermen’s Co-operative, said Australia’s shark industry did not harvest fins inhumanely.
“We only use sustainable practices and the fin is a by-product after the entire carcass is used,” Mr Sumner said.
Mr Sumner said unregulated overseas operations were behind the brutal practice.
He said TAASFA should focus on shark fin imports, which are legal, instead of tarring the whole industry with the same brush.
But Mr Dowers said he would continue the lobbying and “shaming” of restaurants on its website – including four in Manningham.
Jenny Wong, of Templestowe’s Flying Dragon Chinese Restaurant said their soup used imitation shark fin because the real product was too expensive. Chinese Senior Citizens’ president Adrian Wu said shark fin soup was a traditional and popular dish among the Chinese community and was often eaten at festivals and weddings.
But he said growing awareness of the practices involved in shark finning were turning many, including himself, off the dish.
Source: Manningham Leader