Wildlife inspectors seized 1,400 pounds of shark fins at a Miami, Florida, port last week, officials say.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said the shipment of dried fins arrived in 18 boxes. Those officials believe the sharks were poached off the coast of South America. As with many such illegally acquired animal parts, the fins were likely bound for Asia.
The commercial value of the large volume of fins is between $700,000 and $1 million.
Poachers and smugglers kill tens of millions of sharks each year. Conservation groups say that the ecological bandits cut the fins from live animals. People who buy the gory harvest use it to make shark fin soup—a coveted delicacy in China.
The soup isn’t prized for its great taste. Shark fins are not flavorful—in fact, people who’ve tried the soup say the fins are tasteless and bland. But Asian superstition holds that shark fins impart long life, physical beauty, and other benefits to those who consume the soup. For that reason, the pricey stew is traditionally served at wedding banquets. Chinese culture considers sharing the soup in community a way to bring “good fortune” to the newlyweds.
While much in God’s creation is good for our physical health and longevity, the Bible is clear that God Himself is the giver. 1 Timothy 4:7 warns us to be on our guard against placing our hope in the wrong things. It says, “Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness.”
(Confiscated shark fins on display at a news conference on Thursday, February 6, 2020, in Doral, Florida. The fins were probably headed to Asia. AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)