Did you know a single serving of shark fin soup can cost up to $100 a bowl in countries like Taiwan and Hong Kong!? The price is increasing as shark fins are becoming more rare and harder to find. But what is the significance of this soup and why is there a high price on it? The soup for many Asian culture signifies status and wealth. It is generally served in weddings to demonstrate prosperity among the two families that are joining through this marriage. But is a shark fin soup really worth distributing in a wedding? Shark fin trade is becoming illegal in many countries, however, in Costa Rica this can change soon. 95% of shark fin trading is occurring in the West Coast of Costa Rica and it is administered by Taiwanese fishermen who have come to this country to make money and exploit the Costa Rican fishermen. By offering big bucks for a shark fin in a country that faces poverty, Costa Rican fishermen are vulnerable and are finding shark fins for the illegal sale. When we are referring to big bucks we are only referring to a dollar. Yes, that is right, the Taiwanese mafia, who controls this trade only offers the fishermen a dollar per pound. While it may not be a lot for someone in the United States, it is a lot for someone living in poverty in Costa Rica
Now most of us have seen the documentary by Chef Ramsay. While recording the documentary of the shark fin trade in Costa Rica and his crew and himself were attacked by the Taiwanese mafia. They reported being soaked in petroleum and held at gunpoint and threatened if they did not leave. It must have been a terrifying experience but money is what drives this illegal operation in Costa Rica. In 2012, shark finning became illegal in Costa Rica by president Chinchilla, however, the increase in illegal trading and the mafia now working on Costa Rican waters can overturn this law. The terror they have caused on the law enforcers to check ships leaving the docks of Costa Rica have prevented many law officials from doing their jobs and following their duties. Now shark fin soup has not only negatively affected the millions of sharks killed annually for their fins, but has also terrorized a nation and people who live off the oceans. Thanks to the high demand of shark fin soup by the Chinese because of the economic growth and wealth many families in this country have encountered, there has been an increased in consumption of this tasteless soup in China. Other Asian countries have seen a decrease but Chinese consumption continues to increase.