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Shark fin soup is cruel: Yao Ming

(China Daily)

08:46, September 23, 2011

Basketball star Yao Ming attends a ceremony in Shanghai on Thursday to launch a campaign urging people to stop eating shark fin soup. (Photo by Gao Erqiang/China Daily)

SHANGHAI - Basketball superstar Yao Ming and British entrepreneur Richard Branson joined forces on Thursday to get shark fin soup off the menu and save some of the species from extinction.

The soup, considered a delicacy, is widely served at top-class restaurants on the mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan. To cater for demand about 1.5 million sharks are slaughtered every week for their fins, a move that endangers some species.

"Few people know the importance of sharks in maintaining the ecological balance," recently retired NBA star Yao said in Shanghai during an event, sponsored by conservation group WildAid, to launch the campaign against the shark fin trade.

"Nor do they realize the cruelty of the finning process," Yao said.

After the fins are sliced off, sharks are discarded back to the ocean where they are condemned to a slow, agonizing death due to diminished speed and maneuverability.

"There is no reasonable explanation for the cruelty," Yao said.

Despite growing calls to ban the trade and consumption of shark products, demand in China has been growing rapidly as the economy booms.

"Those who eat shark fin soup told me they don't particularly like it," Branson, president of Virgin Atlantic Airlines, said.

"It was just the tradition. That means it's possible to get people to switch to other food, and make the soup unfashionable."

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Leave your comment4 comments

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i love a blue sea at 2011-09-2361.150.95.*
i love a blue sea at 2011-09-2361.150.95.*
God job Yao Ming
i love a blue sea at 2011-09-2361.150.95.*
God job Yao Ming!
i love a blue sea at 2011-09-2361.150.95.*

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