A CAMPAIGNING businessman is fighting to stop Chinese restaurants serving shark fin soup.
David Jones, managing director of Triton Scuba and Watersports in Eastney, is on a mission to raise awareness of the cruelty involved in harvesting fins for the traditional dish. And he has already had his first success.
He approached the owner of Chez Choi and Noble House, both in Osborne Road, Southsea, after TV chef Gordon Ramsay raised the issue in a programme for Channel 4’s Fish Season.
Owner Albert Choi said that after discussing the matter with Mr Jones he decided it was better for the environment – and better for his business – to stop serving the controversial dish.
‘We have had shark fin soup on our menu for many years,’ he said. ‘I agree with the environmental issues raised by Mr Jones, so we decided not to sell it any more.
‘We think this is the right thing to do both for the business and to prevent cruelty.’
In the documentary Shark Bait, Gordon Ramsay explored the shark fin soup industry and the effect it was having on shark numbers worldwide.
His film showed how illegal ‘finning’ – where shark fins are cut off at sea and the fish thrown back in to die – is often used to meet demand for the Chinese delicacy.
Mr Jones said he wasn’t interested in demonising restaurants, just asking them to change their minds.
He said: ‘There is no reason to be confrontational, I just asked Albert if he would reconsider serving it and he agreed with me.
‘Now that people understand how these fins are harvested, taking it off the menu makes business sense.’
He added that anyone concerned about their local Chinese restaurant serving the soup should just ask politely if they will stop.
He said: ‘If it boosts their reputation and helps the environment it’s a win-win situation.’