Shark Fin Soup Helps the Poor

Is the Fin Industry all that Bad?

A seminar hold by

Dr Choo-hoo Giam,
Member, CITES Animals committee,
UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.

Shark’s fin soup Also helps the Poor

‘’Each year, 73 million sharks are killed primarily for their fins to feed our
increasing hunger for sharks fin soup.’’ WWF Singapore

‘Humans kill 100 million sharks a year …and for what? Shark fins for a
tasteless bowl of soup.’ Another wildlife organization

The basis for these statements originates from unknown sources, are magnified
and reproduced ad nauseam. No data is given to support this. By repetition and
media advertorials, the world is misled into believing that –

· 73 million sharks are killed specifically for their fins
· Most of the fins are cruelly taken from live sharks

Both statements are untrue. The truth is –

1. 80% of sharks are accidentally caught
2. Most fins are humanely taken from landed, dead sharks

…. to continue reading





  1. David

    You stupid ignorant pleb. Open your eyes and check the facts before you publish utter nonsense. I look forward to a reply and perhaps the chance to educate you a little if you have the courage to back your conviction.

    • Procrustes

      You’re so incredibly smart that you didn’t have to read it. Too bad you missed what he is actually saying:

      Fishery authorities can adopt one or all of the following measures –
      1. Do not allow boats to land protected sharks. Those accidentally caught or
      found in their fishing nets must be thrown back into the sea.
      2. Boats on reaching ports and found to have protected sharks must throw
      back the catch even if those sharks are dead.
      3. Every country should limit the number and quantity of protected shark
      sold, eaten or exported.
      4. Recreational fishing of protected sharks, as permitted in some countries,
      should be stopped.
      5. Laws like those in California should not only ban fin but other parts of
      the shark bodies.

  2. Hazel Oakley


    How is it possible that a man with all those fancy letters; Who must have studied scientific process at some point in his career can use “no data” as evidence for “no problem”??

    Furthermore, since when has “bad fisheries management” meant “no need for better fisheries management”??

    This is bad science prettily written and if politicians can’t see through that they will think he makes a good point! I am ashamed that stuff like this makes it to the public area.

  3. Caroline

    I completely 100% agree with David. Ignorant people make me stop in my tracks and wonder what will happen to this earth if they keep breeding?

  4. Procrustes

    You guys didn’t read it did you. He is making very valid points on the focus on shark finnng is missing 80% of the problem — that most sharks are killed as by-catch and this needs to be addressed.

  5. Sharky

    Dr boo Hoo.. Sharks are declining in numbers whilst u bla bla nonsensically about shark fins are removed from dead sharks. The bottom line is that the sharks are dead and they are hardly seen these days.

    Instead of writing an article about proving shark fins soup is not the contributing factor for the decline of sharks… Provide solutions to increase shark population. Do something useful with your doctorate… Dr boo Hoo 

  6. Dave

    In increasing numbers, including Australia, Taiwan, Canada and USA, governments will ban shark fin products during 2012. The information is correct. We don’t have to worry that politicians will even read this. They have marine biologists and environmental groups providing the information that was needed to create the political will. This guy was drunk, or else he is always an idiot.

  7. Sheah

    Procrustes: lol it must be really frustrating in your shoes. but because of your persistence in asking everyone to finish reading the 10page PDF files, i did, and it truly is an eye opener. IF what Dr Giam is claiming is true, maybe we are approaching the issue from the wrong direction. it is indeed very hard to back up this document as there is no references. and even so, i wont be surprise that the uproar from environmentalists and conservation groups will be that the data is bias etc. that said, he does bring up some valid points. 
    if you are an admin for this site, and if you have any references for this document, please email them to me or post them up. i am interested in finding out how far away are his claims from the truth. thanks in advance!

  8. Cassie Jones

    Both issues should be addressed. Come up with better fishing methods so that sharks are not killed from by-catch and stop finning sharks. End of story. Shark should not be eaten by humans. Choose sustainable and more nutritious fish to eat.

  9. If the lecturer had dove 2 sites 10 years ago, The Brothers in the Red Sea and Pulau Sipadan in Malaysia and then dove the same sites again today, he would understand immediately why shark fin soup, in whatever guise, is decimating the marine eco system. No one with the slightest concern for the world’s sustainable fish stocks, could condone this rather ignorant man’s argument. I am more than happy to discuss in detail this matter if Dr Choo-hoo Giam decides to take an educated approach and to be provided with some hard statistical facts, available through verified sources.

    • Angel

      Please add Raja Ampat, Indonesia and Roatan, Honduras to the list. You can not beileve the difference in just in 5 years.
      These are all shark targeted fishing areas.
      Long lines and drifting nets are the worst.
      Also the seasonal fishing bans does not cover local fishermen up to a certain size of a boat. So they keep fishing 12 moths a year. Even in breeding and mating seasons when palagics come in shore, shallower waters. Atlantic Tuna Fsh is endagered as well as Albacore and Yellow Fin Tuna in Med Sea and Atlantic Ocean. The same fleets are responsible for most of the accidental shark catch.
      I think this report has some valid points but generally speaking is biased.

  10. One final comment to your probable response of my missing the point, is that whilst by catch is the problem he is focusing on, whilst shark fin retains the high monetary values, fishing companies will be happy to continue with the by catch bonus and so continue to use steel leaders etc. The majority of campaigns a focus on total shark and marine conservation, with the shark fin aspect a prominent part.

    • Procrustesprocrustes

      Both addressed in his argument.  5% rule and also advocates to not only ban fins but also meat.  Look past the provocative seminar title if your shark diving machismo allows it.

  11. Nobody knows how many tens of millions of sharks are being killed…for  a snob soup for one cultures new rich. Long-lining is no accident and it’s also wiping out the worlds Albatrosses and it basically catches anything that bites, Turtles and Seals too. It’s not only Sharks that are endangered by this pathetic vanity soup.
    China’s National dish stands to destroy the marine environment…..that won’t help the poor, a fast buck followed by a new level of poverty… 

    • Procrustesprocrustes

      George — there is no longline fishery for sharks.  They are caught as bycatch in these longline fisheries for Tuna.  Spain in particular catches many many sharks in their Tuna fishery.

  12. Procrustesprocrustes

    you can 1) address the problem of shark bycatch in Tuna fisheries 2) Ban all  shark fins and they will still be caught as bycatch in Tuna fisheries and be thrown back dead, while the boat gets to keep fishing instead of retaining what they already killed.

  13. crwbja

    This a typical Singaporean attitude and response to a global problem

  14. Brandon Bethea

    I read this report. What a bunch of biased BS. Sharks help poor nations? What about shark tourism? That could help them significantly more. And, if you’re going to begin a report attempting to dispute current numbers, how about backing your own report up with some type of scientific proof or focus on the facts? The stats in this report seem so arbitrary and presumptuous. Apparently, the author hasn’t seen the massive fin markets. When you see that many fins in one place, at one time, it’s not accidental!

  15. crwbja

    The truth is that there are 20 large importers of Shark fin to HKG with the largest owed by Charlie Lam.According to WWF Dr Giam is one of his best friends accepting all sorts of favours in order to promote the industry.
    There is little transparency in Singapore, therefore Dr Giam can manipulate numbers in order to help his mates for favours,./!

  16. To Procrustes

    It seems you are desperately seeking the truth and evidence to back it up. You’ll find all your answers and the proof, backed with scientific evidence, right here: 

  17. The report says House Sparrows are not endangered…so where have they all gone? 
    on a personal note… 
    How come so many boats with freezers full of sharks fin are intercepted, because anything else caught was the by-catch?


Leave a Reply