Ruling coalition slammed over shark-fin soup

Ruling coalition slammed over shark-fin soup

Members of ruling coalition arrive at Rajpruek Club on Tuesday night for a get-together dinner that included shark-fin soup. (Photo by Pornprom Satrabhaya)
Members of ruling coalition arrive at Rajpruek Club on Tuesday night for a get-together dinner that included shark-fin soup. (Photo by Pornprom Satrabhaya)

Environmentalists have slammed the government and coalition parties for including shark-fin soup on the menu at a get-together on Tuesday night.

In fact, the comments were so sharp that Natural Resources and Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa had to step away, saying he didn't consume the soup but couldn't stop others from doing so. 

This dish is perhaps the most controversial in the world.

Environmentalists have been campaigning for people to stop eating shark fin across the world in order to save the shark population. According to a study by Dalhousie University, as many as 100 million sharks are killed each year for their fins.

In Thailand, shark-fin soup is considered a luxury and has a high price tag. 

Meanwhile, WildAid Thailand has launched a battle against its consumption.  

“This only shows that so many ongoing campaigns have failed to make government leaders aware of the damage," a statement from the group said.

In its #Shark (fin) Free Celebrations campaign, the group said that trade in shark fin has been restricted in some countries, and even the Chinese government has prohibited the dish from state banquets.

Conservation group, Thai Environment Day, meanwhile, pointed to the fact that sharks are vital for maintaining the marine ecosystem.  

Actor Nawat “Pong” Kulratanarak also slammed lawmakers for their ignorance in a Facebook post . 

“If you want to hold a party get-together, do it -- but don't harm sharks and damage the marine ecosystem. Set a good example," he wrote. 

Mr Varawut, meanwhile, said the consumption of shark fin was not against the law, though he doesn't support it.


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