Jan 4, 2011
Gordon Ramsay, the "Hell's Kitchen" chef known for his explosive temper, was recently held at gunpoint and doused in oil (no, not cooking oil) for actually doing something nice and trying to change the world for the better.According to The Telegraph, Gordon Ramsay was in Costa Rica filming for the UK's "Big Fish Fight" series when he encountered some of the worst criminals in the fishing industry. Gordon Ramsay and his crew were exploring the dangerous, disgusting shark fin trade when they tracked down one of the gangs involved in the business. After he ran up to their rooftop hideout, Gordon Ramsay described the horrific sight that met his eyes: thousands and thousands of shark fins were drying in the sun.
When Gordon Ramsay made it back downstairs, he says that some of the people in the building poured a barrel of oil on him. Cars with blacked-out windows pulled in front of the building shortly thereafter, but he and the crew made a quick getaway.
Gordon Ramsay actually managed to get on one of the boats involved in the illegal shark fin trade during filming, but when he retrieved a bag of fins and threw it on the deck, he states that people on the wharf started pointing guns at him and shouting. He and his crew were forced to stand in front of a wall until police arrived at the scene and advised them to leave the country, letting the crew know that the shark fin traders would shoot them.
The shark fin trade exists thanks to the Chinese delicacy of shark fin soup (something it's safe to say that Gordon Ramsay doesn't serve) and the use of shark fins in traditional medicine. Often the fins are cut from sharks and they are thrown back in the ocean still living, forced to suffer an inhumane death by suffocation or being easily caught by a predator due to their inability to move. The industry is a great threat to shark populations worldwide, and is also a big part of organized crime in Costa Rica, with the Taiwanese mafia controlling the trade.
So while Gordon Ramsay might get a bad rap for being tough on the contestants on his show "Hell's Kitchen", it's nice to see him fight for the sea's top predators. Perhaps raising awareness of the plight of one of nature's most hated creatures will help put a stop to the shark fin industry and prove that the real monsters of the sea aren't sharks at all, but the human beings that hate, use, and abuse them.