Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Boundless Sea & Sky

Give the people what they want, we are not asking for much, just what is fair, what is right and equitable ... our struggles are ongoing and many of us feel for our HK friends. Beyond's song "Boundless Sea and Sky" which epitomises the yearning for freedom and liberty, from all that is "not right".... rightfully is the anthem.





 海阔天空 – Beyond
今天我 寒夜里看雪飘过
Gam tin ngoh, hon ye lui hon suet piu gwoh
Today I saw snow drifting through the cold night
怀著冷却了的心窝飘远方
Waai jeuk laang keuk liu dik sam woh piu yuen fong
With the cold, my heart and mind drift off to faraway places
风雨里追赶 雾里分不清影踪
Fung yue lui jui gon, mo lui fan bat ching ying jung
Trying to catch up in the wind and rain, in the fog you can’t tell the shadows apart
天空海阔你与我 可会变(谁没在变)
Tin hung hoi foot nei yue ngoh, how wui bin (sui moot joi bin)
Vast sky wide ocean, you and I, who would change?  (Who wouldn’t change?)
多少次 迎著冷眼与嘲笑
Doh siu chi, ying jeuk laang ngaan yue jaau siu
Many times I’ve faced the cold with eyes of ridicule
从没有放弃过心中的理想
Chung moot yau fong hei gwoh sam jung dik lei seung
Never have I gave up my heart’s hopes and ideals
一刹那恍惚 若有所失的感觉
Yat saat na fong fat, yeuk yau soh sat dik gam gok
A moment of absentmindedness, there’s also the feeling of loss
不知不觉已变淡 心里爱(谁明白我)
Bat ji bat gok yi bin daam, sam lui ngoi
Without realization, it faded, the love in my heart (Who understands me?)
原谅我这一生不羁放纵爱自由
Yuen leung ngoh je yat saang bat gei fong jung ngoi ji yau
Forgive me this life of uninhibited love and indulgence of freedom
也会怕有一天会跌倒(OH NO)
Ya wui pa yau yat tin wui dit do (oh no)
Although I’m still afraid that one day I might fall
被弃了理想, 谁人都可以
Bui hei liu lei seung, sui yan do ho yi
Abandon your hopes and ideals, anyone can do
那会怕有一天只你共我
Na wui pa yau yat tin ji nei gung ngoh
I’m not afraid if someday there’s only you and me
今天我 寒夜里看雪飘过
Gam tin ngoh, hon ye lui hon suet piu gwoh
Today I saw snow drifting through the cold night
怀著冷却了的心窝飘远方
Waai jeuk laang keuk liu dik sam woh piu yuen fong
With the cold, my heart and mind drift off to faraway places
风雨里追赶 雾里分不清影踪
Fung yue lui jui gon, mo lui fan bat ching ying jung
Trying to catch up in the wind and rain, in the fog you can’t tell the shadows apart
天空海阔你与我 可会变(谁没在变)
Tin hung hoi foot nei yue ngoh, how wui bin (sui moot joi bin)
Vast sky wide ocean, you and I, who would change?  (Who wouldn’t change?)
原谅我这一生不羁放纵爱自由
Yuen leung ngoh je yat saang bat gei fong jung ngoi ji yau
Forgive me this life of uninhibited love and indulgence of freedom
也会怕有一天会跌倒(OH NO)
Ya wui pa yau yat tin wui dit do (oh no)
Although I’m still afraid that one day I might fall
被弃了理想, 谁人都可以
Bui hei liu lei seung, sui yan do ho yi
Abandon your hopes and ideals, anyone can do
那会怕有一天只你共我
Na wui pa yau yat tin ji nei gung ngoh
I’m not afraid if someday there’s only you and me
仍然自由自我
Ying yin ji yau ji ngoh
Still I am free, still I am independent
永远高唱我歌, 走遍千里
Wing yuen go cheung ngoh goh, jau pin chin lei
Always loudly singing my song, traveling thousands of miles
原谅我这一生不羁放纵爱自由
Yuen leung ngoh je yat saang bat gei fong jung ngoi ji yau
Forgive me this life of uninhibited love and indulgence of freedom
也会怕有一天会跌倒(OH NO)
Ya wui pa yau yat tin wui dit do (oh no)
Although I’m still afraid that one day I might fall
被弃了理想, 谁人都可以
Bui hei liu lei seung, sui yan do ho yi
Abandon your hopes and ideals, anyone can do
那会怕有一天只你共我
Na wui pa yau yat tin ji nei gung ngoh
I’m not afraid if someday there’s only you and me
被弃了理想, 谁人都可以
Bui hei liu lei seung, sui yan do ho yi
Abandon your hopes and ideals, anyone can do
那会怕有一天只你共我
Na wui pa yau yat tin ji nei gung ngoh
I’m not afraid if someday there’s only you and me

Monday, September 29, 2014

Threes & Tees

I heard good things about a tee shirt design and printing outfit in KL. There are plenty of places that do that. Hence it takes a lot of soul searching to even try to compete in this arena. Ordered a few tees a few weeks back online. Very good customer service and they made sure I was informed every step of the way. End product - well, I think they sourced the best material for tees because the tees feel like the most comfy I have ever worn in my life, and I have worn a lot of tees.

A couple days after, I decided to put in my own design ... again great customer service. Showed me the design template before going ahead. Very satisfied customer here.

(p/s I do not know the owners, ... no fees, no freebie, no nothing from them...)

Give them a go:   http://www.threesandtees.com/en/

My own designed tees.... "egalite" is my favourite word in the world, somehow pronouncing it in French makes a whole world of difference to the oft used and overused "equal or equality". The other one is me and my own wicked thoughts.











































Sunday, September 28, 2014

Realignment In Global Currencies Caused Global Equities To Pause

The worst week for global equities in almost two months finished on a positive note as optimism in the economy’s strength helped counter a procession of concerns from geopolitics to valuations and interest rates.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index lost 1.4 percent for the week, paring declines on the final day with a 0.9 percent rally. The MSCI All-Country World Index dropped 2 percent for the five days, the most since Aug. 1. The Russell 2000 Index of smaller companies decreased 2.4 percent. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index tumbled 2.8 percent, heading toward its worst month since January. 

We have to remember that most equity markets are near or at their all time highs. What is different is that I DO NOT see any of these so called all time high markets experiencing crowd madness, euphoria driven rallies, blinkered decision making ... every single market, even at or near their all time highs have been relatively subdued.

That is the crux of the current rally. Is it a liquidity driven rally? Well any bull run has to be driven by cheap money. The only thing is that not many people want to gear up or take advantage of low interest rates to leverage up to participate in the markets. However, many corporations and funds have been more than willing to gear up. Many institutional funds are willing to look for better returns. Hence much of the INDEXED STOCKS highs are due to this, an accumulation by institutional funds ... hence you do not feel the euphoria so much. 


The bulk of the activity has been in small caps, look at any market for the past 2 years. There certainly has been a flattening of many major property markets, not correction, but flattening out. We can surmise that a substantial amount of that liquidity may have trickled into equity markets, esp the smaller caps play.

However most equity markets traded sideways for the past week or so, MAINLY as there is an adjustment or realignment process going on in the global currencies arena. It appears there are some main conclusions reached by the majority:
a) Fed will raise interest rates very soon
b) resource led currencies will not get any help from China demand
c) Japan's reflationary tactics gaining traction
d) US recovery more solid and is diverging from EU

Equities fell early in the week as stronger economic data fueled concern the Federal Reserve may raise interest rates sooner than anticipated. The issue took a back seat on the final day as the S&P 500 rebounded from the biggest one-day decline since July on a report showing U.S. gross domestic product expanded in the second quarter at the fastest rate since 2011.

Interest Rates

Investors are analyzing reports to assess whether growth is strong enough to withstand higher rates. The S&P 500 reached a record on Sept. 18 after the Fed maintained a commitment to keep interest rates near zero for a considerable time after completing asset purchases. The Fed also said that the timing could move forward if data continues to exceed expectations.

Interest-rate concerns boosted the dollar, sending the greenback to a four-year high and its sixth straight week of gains. Its rally sent the MSCI Emerging Markets Index to a third week of losses. The gauge has tumbled 5.8 percent in September.

Reports for the week showed the U.S. economy rose at a 4.6 percent annualized rate in the second quarter, up from an August estimate of 4.2 percent. New-home sales surged to the highest level in more than six years, and American factories received more orders for machinery as an improving economy gave companies the confidence to expand.

The USD was set for the biggest monthly gain in more than two years as reports showing a stronger U.S. economy added to bets the Federal Reserve will boost interest rates sooner than its peers in Europe and Japan.

The greenback rose to the strongest level in 22 months versus the euro before the European Central Bank meets Oct. 2 to discuss the region’s slumping economy. The yen approached the weakest in six years amid slowing inflation and mixed signals on the speed of pension-fund changes. Emerging-market currencies headed lower, while the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index reached the highest since 2010.
Brazil’s real is the biggest loser among the dollar’s 31 major counterparts this month as investors weighed voter support for President Dilma Rousseff in next month’s election amid a recession and inflation. The real has dropped 7.6 percent to 2.4201 per dollar, and it touched 2.4433 yesterday, the weakest since Jan. 29.

New Zealand’s dollar has tumbled 5.9 percent as central-bank Governor Graeme Wheeler called its level “unjustified,” one of policy makers’ criteria for intervention. The kiwi, nicknamed for the image of the flightless bird on the NZ$1 coin, reached 78.60 U.S. cents yesterday, the lowest level since September 2013.

The kiwi led currencies of commodity-exporting nations including the Australian dollar lower amid doubts about the sustainability of economic growth in China, the world’s second-biggest economy.

The yen fell as Health Minister Yasuhisa Shiozaki, whose ministry oversees the Government Pension Investment Fund, said pension reform would go ahead.  Shiozaki said there’s no plan to postpone a law change that would improve governance of the Government Pension Investment Fund. A review of asset allocation may see it increase riskier investments, including foreign stocks and debt.


The Bank of Japan, which meets Oct. 7, is trying to boost inflation to 2 percent by pumping 60 trillion yen ($550 billion) to 70 trillion yen a year into the economy. BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said Sept. 18 in Tokyo he won’t hesitate to adjust monetary policy if needed.

The Fed is considering when to raise interest rates for the first time since 2006. There’s a 78 percent chance the benchmark rate target will go up by September 2015, according to fed-fund futures data compiled by Bloomberg.

So, what will happen? It appears that players used to very scared of any raising of rates by the Fed and were somehow too attached and reliant on QE measures to sustain interest in equities. However, I see a pronounced deviation from that view now. The increase in rates by Fed will actually be a lifting of a stumbling block as unemployment data looks too good to ignore. If the real economy is strengthening, one or even two rate hikes won't kill the market. Maybe the third strike.

I expect a vibrant equity market globally for the last quarter of 2014.



Thursday, September 25, 2014

Monday, September 22, 2014

Emma Watson's UN Speech

Emma Watson, what a spirit stirring speech ... egalite everyone!!!


Emma Watson Gender equality is your issue too


Date: 20 Sep 2014

Speech by UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson at a special event for the HeForShe campaign, United Nations Headquarters, New York, 20 September 2014


Today we are launching a campaign called “HeForShe.”

I am reaching out to you because I need your help. We want to end gender inequality—and to do that we need everyone to be involved.

This is the first campaign of its kind at the UN: we want to try and galvanize as many men and boys as possible to be advocates for gender equality. And we don’t just want to talk about it, but make sure it is tangible.

I was appointed six months ago and the more I have spoken about feminism the more I have realized that fighting for women’s rights has too often become synonymous with man-hating. If there is one thing I know for certain, it is that this has to stop.

For the record, feminism by definition is: “The belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. It is the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes.”

I started questioning gender-based assumptions when at eight I was confused at being called “bossy,” because I wanted to direct the plays we would put on for our parents—but the boys were not.

When at 14 I started being sexualized by certain elements of the press.

When at 15 my girlfriends started dropping out of their sports teams because they didn’t want to appear “muscly.”

When at 18 my male friends were unable to express their feelings.

I decided I was a feminist and this seemed uncomplicated to me. But my recent research has shown me that feminism has become an unpopular word.

Apparently I am among the ranks of women whose expressions are seen as too strong, too aggressive, isolating, anti-men and, unattractive.

Why is the word such an uncomfortable one?

I am from Britain and think it is right that as a woman I am paid the same as my male counterparts. I think it is right that I should be able to make decisions about my own body. I think it is right that women be involved on my behalf in the policies and decision-making of my country. I think it is right that socially I am afforded the same respect as men. But sadly I can say that there is no one country in the world where all women can expect to receive these rights.

No country in the world can yet say they have achieved gender equality.

These rights I consider to be human rights but I am one of the lucky ones. My life is a sheer privilege because my parents didn’t love me less because I was born a daughter. My school did not limit me because I was a girl. My mentors didn’t assume I would go less far because I might give birth to a child one day. 

These influencers were the gender equality ambassadors that made who I am today. They may not know it, but they are the inadvertent feminists who are. And we need more of those.  And if you still hate the word—it is not the word that is important but the idea and the ambition behind it. Because not all women have been afforded the same rights that I have. In fact, statistically, very few have been.

In 1997, Hilary Clinton made a famous speech in Beijing about women’s rights. Sadly many of the things she wanted to change are still a reality today.

But what stood out for me the most was that only 30 per cent of her audience were male. How can we affect change in the world when only half of it is invited or feel welcome to participate in the conversation?

Men—I would like to take this opportunity to extend your formal invitation. Gender equality is your issue too.

Because to date, I’ve seen my father’s role as a parent being valued less by society despite my needing his presence as a child as much as my mother’s.

I’ve seen young men suffering from mental illness unable to ask for help for fear it would make them look less “macho”—in fact in the UK suicide is the biggest killer of men between 20-49; eclipsing road accidents, cancer and coronary heart disease. I’ve seen men made fragile and insecure by a distorted sense of what constitutes male success. Men don’t have the benefits of equality either.  

We don’t often talk about men being imprisoned by gender stereotypes but I can see that that they are and that when they are free, things will change for women as a natural consequence.

If men don’t have to be aggressive in order to be accepted women won’t feel compelled to be submissive. If men don’t have to control, women won’t have to be controlled.

Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong… It is time that we all perceive gender on a spectrum not as two opposing sets of ideals.

If we stop defining each other by what we are not and start defining ourselves by what we are—we can all be freer and this is what HeForShe is about. It’s about freedom. 

I want men to take up this mantle. So their daughters, sisters and mothers can be free from prejudice but also so that their sons have permission to be vulnerable and human too—reclaim those parts of themselves they abandoned and in doing so be a more true and complete version of themselves.

You might be thinking who is this Harry Potter girl? And what is she doing up on stage at the UN. It’s a good question and trust me I have been asking myself the same thing. I don’t know if I am qualified to be here. All I know is that I care about this problem. And I want to make it better.

And having seen what I’ve seen—and given the chance—I feel it is my duty to say something. English statesman Edmund Burke said: “All that is needed for the forces of evil to triumph is for enough good men and women to do nothing.”

In my nervousness for this speech and in my moments of doubt I’ve told myself firmly—if not me, who, if not now, when. If you have similar doubts when opportunities are presented to you I hope those words might be helpful.

Because the reality is that if we do nothing it will take 75 years, or for me to be nearly a hundred before women can expect to be paid the same as men for the same work. 15.5 million girls will be married in the next 16 years as children. And at current rates it won’t be until 2086 before all rural African girls will be able to receive a secondary education.

If you believe in equality, you might be one of those inadvertent feminists I spoke of earlier.

And for this I applaud you.

We are struggling for a uniting word but the good news is we have a uniting movement. It is called HeForShe. I am inviting you to step forward, to be seen to speak up, To be the he for she. And to ask yourself if not me, who, if not now when.

Thank you.

- See more at: http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/stories/2014/9/emma-watson-gender-equality-is-your-issue-too#sthash.MlgAsPeU.dpuf

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Friday, September 12, 2014

Demonizing Asians (Again) For Depleting Sharks Numbers

They cleared all their forests years ago and 50 years later whack Asians for deforestation. They needed to promote their inferior cooking oils, hence did a prolonged propaganda against palm oil. Now the focus is on shark, or rather shark fins. I am OK going with or without that dish but lets get the facts cleared up. 

Western Hypocrisy In The Shark’s Fin Debate – Analysis


By

By KT Tan

Graham Land’s claim that “A UN-FAO commissioned report from last year estimated that the demand for shark fin soup in China, facilitated by a massive shark fishing industry in countries like Indonesia, was largely responsible for some 100 million shark deaths per year.” is a non sequitur, a logical fallacy in which the conclusion does not follow from the premises. ( ‘Are We Winning The War Against Shark Fin Soup?’, Eurasia Review, 22 August 2014.)

According to the FAO, Indonesia was ONLY one of the 26 countries that were responsible for 84 percent of the global shark catches in 2012. [1] Mainland China was not even on the list.

What Mr Land has conveniently ignored is that developed nations such as the United States, Spain, Japan, France, New Zealand, Portugal, Britain, Canada, and Australia were among the 26 nations cited by the FAO.[2] The FAO catch statistics showed that the above developed nations ranked as the top shark-fishing nations in the West, with a total catch of 190,842 tonnes in 2008.
The claim that “the demand for shark’s fin soup in China was largely responsible for some 100 million shark deaths per year” is baseless.

This is because the biggest consumer of shark’s fin soup, on a per capita basis, is not mainland China per se but Hong Kong, which is a Special Administrative Region of China.

Shark's fin soup
Shark’s fin soup

And since shark’s fin soup is inordinately expensive and served at important events such as weddings and banquets, unlike the inexpensive fish and chips meals, made from tens of millions of pounds of shark meat and eaten daily by the working classes in the West, the majority of ordinary folks in China do not have access to it.

And in case it escaped Mr Land’s attention, in October 2013 the Chinese Government removed shark’s fin soup off the menu in state banquets ‘as part of a sweeping government crackdown on excessive spending and extravagance’. [3]

As a result, shark’s fin soup consumption in mainland China fell by 70%. [4]
Dr Shelly Clarke, arguably the only marine scientist whose doctorate is on the topic, estimated that “as of 2000, the fins of 38 million sharks per year were being traded but that the number could range as low as 26 million or as high as 73 million”. [5]

But she warned that “In 2011, with many conservation organizations escalating their campaigns and rhetoric against the shark fin trade, there are few news articles, web sites or blogs that don’t mention the millions of sharks killed each year. But I almost never see any reference to the 38 million, which was after all, my best estimate”. [6]

She stressed that she frequently sees the “73 million” figure without any reference to that being her highest estimate and added that “almost as often I see “100 million,” an estimate that was published in Time magazine in 1997 but for which I can find no scientific basis.” [7]

“Even more troubling”, she added “some sources quote these figures as ‘the number of sharks killed for their fins’, or ‘the number of sharks finned’ (carcasses discarded at sea), or the ‘number of sharks finned alive’ every year.” [8]

She warned that “The truth is that no one knows how many sharks are killed for their fins, how many have their carcasses dumped at sea, or how many sharks are alive when finned. We simply don’t have that information, nor do we know whether these numbers have been sustained every year since 2000.” [9]

‘Exaggeration and hyperbole run the risk of undermining conservation campaigns’ and ‘selective and slanted use of information devalues and marginalizes researchers, who are working hard to impartially present the data’, she cautioned. [10]

The “Global catches,exploitation rates,and rebuilding options for sharks’ report by Boris Worm et al, [11] published in the journal ‘Marine Policy’ which Mr Land alluded to in a previous article started the report on a very pessimistic note, to wit :
“Adequate conservation and management of shark populations is becoming increasingly important on a global scale, especially because many species are exceptionally vulnerable to overfishing. Yet, reported catch statistics for sharks are incomplete, and mortality estimates have not been available for sharks as a group”.

If that was indeed the case then surely the report, that ‘a total annual mortality estimate of about 100 million sharks in 2000 and about 97 million sharks in 2010, with a total range of possible values between 63 and 273 million sharks per year” has no scientific basis. [12]

It was also not an FAO commissioned report but one that was funded by grants from the National Science Foundation and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, with additional meeting support from the Pew Charitable Trust. [13]

Mr Land’s claim that “Rapid economic growth in countries like China and Vietnam has decimated the global populations of many species, threatening endangerment and even extinction,” is blindly clutching at straws.

The United Nations ‘Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora’ (Cites), whose members represent 180 governments, is the global watchdog regulating trade on endangered species. [14]

And Cites has not listed any shark species on the endangered list. Only 8 out of about 420 species of sharks are on the watchlist today, though they are not necessarily classified as endangered. [15]

Under the laws of the United States, Britain, Spain, Portugal, France, Japan, China, India, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia, to name a few, no shark is listed on the endangered list.

Mr Land’s claim that “This is an industry in which sharks are caught and their dorsal fin is sliced off before they are unceremoniously dumped back in the water to die” is also baseless.

Pragmatism dictates that poor fishermen in the developing nations like Indonesia, which he cited, will never ever throw away a shark when it can be used to feed their local community.

Some fisheries from the developed nations, arguably, do throw overboard many dead or live sharks, accidentally caught, to save freezer space meant more valuable fish like the swordfish and giant bluefin tuna, the latter of which can fetch over US$50,000 each at the wholesale fish market in Tokyo.
The record price paid for a single 489 lb giant bluefin tuna was US$1.76 million in Tokyo in 2013. [16]

Mr Land’s assertion that since “the fins are what fetch the real money, the market makes it more profitable for this shockingly wasteful and cruel method as opposed to fishing for actual shark meat” is an empty rhetoric.

In Spain, the port of Vigo is one of the biggest and busiest fishing ports in the world and it is home to over 3,000 longline fishing vessels. In 2008, all species of unloaded fish, including sharks, reached 751,971 tonnes. They never throw away any shark overboard as there is a market for the whole fish. Finning is also banned by EU regulations. Shark meat, mainly from blue and mako sharks, make up the majority of the catch for sale to the south of Spain and for export to Greece, France, Croatia, Russia and Romania. All the fins, which form only 5% of the shark, are exported to Asia. The rest of the sharks (90%) are consumed in Europe.[17]

In case the nuance escapes Mr Land, one the biggest killers of sharks are the industrial-scale longline fisheries in the developed nations like the United States, Spain, Japan, France, New Zealand, Portugal, Britain, Canada, and Australia using up to 140km of longlines, deploying up to 10,000 hooks to target the more valuable swordfish and giant bluefin tuna but millions of sharks are killed as a by-catch.

Even if all the world stops eating shark’s fin soup from tomorrow onwards, millions of sharks will continue to be killed as a by-catch in longlines unless legislation or regulations are in hand to stop these wanton killings in the West.
There are over 420 species of sharks ranging in size from a foot to more than 50 feet, like the whale sharks. The claim that eating shark’s fin soup will somehow cause the 420 species to become extinct flies in the face of logic because only the fins of about 30 to 40 species of sharks are used in this traditional Asian cuisine.

And it is also reprehensible to imply that only Asians consume sharks. This is not true.
A catch of Spiny dogfish caught during a trawl survey off California. Photo credit John Wallace, NOAA/NMFS/NWFSC/FRAMD
A catch of Spiny dogfish caught during a trawl survey off California. Photo credit John Wallace, NOAA/NMFS/NWFSC/FRAMD

In the USA, 20 million pounds of just one species of sharks, the spiny dogfish, were consumed in 2011, marketed as “steakfish” or “grayfish”. That was a 33 percent spike over 2010, even after President Obama signed the Shark Conservation Act into law that year. This is appalling as the female dogfish sharks have a long gestation period and only give birth to a few pups at a time.
In the EU, including the UK, another 44 million pounds of the spiny dogfish shark species were consumed in 2011, disguised as rock salmon [18] fish & chips meals in the UK, as “saumonette” in France, as “seeaal” or as “schillerlocken” in Germany and “palombo” in Italy. In Canada it is called something else.

Typical plate of Fish& Chips, which in Australia and New Zealand is commonly made from 'Flake', a generic term used for several species of small shark.
Typical plate of Fish & Chips, which in Australia and New Zealand is commonly made from ‘Flake’, a generic term used for several species of small shark.

In Australia and NZ more than 33.6 million lbs of shark meat called flakes (mostly gummy sharks) are made into fish & chip meals every year. [19]
Why are the wildlife activists not campaigning for the West to stop consuming fish & chips meals made from shark meat? Why the double standards?

Would Mr Land be more sanguine if fish & chips, made from shark meat, are served at Asian weddings and banquets in future, instead of shark’s fin soup?
If Western consumers can feast on 95% of the shark (the meat) why are they demonizing Asians for consuming the other 5% of the shark (the fins), which are unappreciated and discarded in the West anyway? Why the hypocrisy?
Is this a new form of Cultural Imperialism, dictating what Asians should or should not eat? Trying to stop a traditional culinary practice in Asia, especially when sharks are not an endangered species, is culturally insensitive and is bound to fail.

It is like asking the Japanese to give up their tuna sashimi, the French their frogs’ legs, Western socialites their caviar canapes or the Englishmen and the Australians their fish and chips meals, again made from tens of millions of pounds of meat from sharks like the porbeagle, the spiny dogfish in the UK and gummy sharks in Australia.

The efforts by wildlife activists and NGOs to save sharks are commendable, but sadly, millions of sharks will continue to be caught as a by-catch in longlines and killed by the industrial-scale fisheries in the West.
Excoriating Asia will not lower the deadly by-catch; only legislation or regulation will.

KT Tan is a private researcher in the maritime disputes in the South China Sea and a regular reader of Eurasia Review. He is based in Singapore. Email : cmsavi@protonmail.ch

Notes:
1 ‘State of the World’s Fisheries and Aquaculture’ 2014, Box 7, p.143 http://www.fao.org/3/a-i3720e.pdf
2 Ibid
3 In Oct 2013, China removed shark’s fin soup off the menu
in state banquets. http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2013-12/10/content_17163142.htm
4 Shark’s fin soup consumption in mainland China fell by 70% http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/business/2013-11/04/content_17078938.htm
5 Dr Shelly Clarke’s website. http://www.seaweb.org/getinvolved/oceanvoices/ShellyClarke.php
6 Ibid
7 Ibid
8 Ibid
9 Ibid
10 Ibid
11 Global catches,exploitation rates,and rebuilding options for sharks’, Boris Worm et al. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308597X13000055
12 Ibid, Abstract.
13 Ibid, p.202.
14 Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. http://www.cites.org/eng/disc/how.php
15 Cites Appendix II-CLASS ELASMOBRANCHII (SHARKS) http://www.cites.org/eng/app/appendices.php
16 A 489 lb giant bluefin tuna sold for US$1.76 million in Tokyo in 2013. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/05/bluefin-tuna-sells-for-incredible-record-tokyo-fish-auction_n_2415722.html
17 The Untold Truth : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7EzDrcr84Oo
18 Spiny dogfish sharks marketed in the UK as rock salmons in fish & chips meals. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rock_salmon
19 Two Sides to a Fin : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLK-Q0iVMlM