Ignorance in Melbourne

Eco-minded people around the world know that promoting destructive eating habits like consuming shark fin is a common problem in Asia. Reviews of shark fin restaurants (read: advertisers) in newspapers often appear with glowing praise for shark fin soup.

Fortunately, in recent years, the frequency with which these types of blatant promotion appear seems to have decreased, in large part due to the weight of public opinion sent to the publications in question.

So I'm quite surprised to see a totally blatant promotion for a place called the "Shark Fin House", which appeared yesterday, not in an Asian newspaper, but in The Age, which is Australian.

The restaurant review by Dani Valent lavishes praise on the Shark Fin House in Melbourne, and in particular, extols the "therapeutic" benefits of the "Jaws and Phoenix" shark fin soup.

This is particularly ironic given how vocal Australian citizens on conservation issues and how restrictive the government authorities are in relation to wildlife and marine issues.

And "therapeutic"? Give me a break. The reviewer concludes with "I'm sure I was more fertile and vigorous by the time I got to the bottom of the bowl."

What?! Talk about perpetuating myths and ignorance. Seriously Dani, do you have a high-school education? Or do they let any uneducated schmuck write for The Age?

Will your next review glorify grilled tiger penis? Or how about bear bile? Why stop there? Go for blue whale steak with a side dish of leatherback turtle satay. That's gotta give you a rise if shark fin made you more "fertile and vigorous".

And I thought that ignorance regarding the alleged magical powers of shark fin (and other endangered wildlife) was limited to Asia. Looks like The Age and Dani Valent proved me wrong.

Click here to see the article. In case the link expires, right click here to download a PDF.

[tags]sharkfin, shark, shark fin, conservation, marine conservation, Australia, hypocrisy, ignorance, irresponsible journalism[/tags]