How about some degenerative brain disease with your bowl of tasteless sharks fin?
The destruction of sharks for shark fin soup has helped put many wild species of the fish on the road to extinction. Now, new research suggests this costly meal may harm humans, too.
An analysis of shark fins from Florida waters found high concentrations of β-N-methylamino-L-alanine, or BMAA, a neurotoxin that has been linked to Alzheimer’s and Lou Gehrig’s disease. The find raises concerns that consuming shark meat and cartilage may put consumers at risk.
“The concentrations of BMAA in the samples are a cause for concern, not only in shark fin soup, but also in dietary supplements and other forms ingested by humans,” study co-author Deborah Mash, who directs the University of Miami Brain Endowment Bank, said in a statement.
The researchers tested seven species of shark for the study: blacknose, blacktip, bonnethead, bull, great hammerhead, lemon and nurse sharks. The scientists clipped tiny fin samples off of living animals so as not to harm their subjects.
Reporting in the journal Marine Drugs, the authors found BMAA concentrations ranging from 144 to 1,838 nanograms per milligram. According to Mash, those levels are similar to the levels found in the brains of Alzheimer’s and Lou Gehrig’s disease patients. Earlier research has linked the eating of BMAA-rich fruit bats in Guam with degenerative brain diseases, suggesting that consuming the toxin could affect human health.
The researchers hope the findings will help discourage the practice of shark-finning, in which as many as 70 million of sharks per year have their fins sliced off and are dumped back into the ocean to die.
“Not only does this work provide important information on one probable route of human exposure to BMAA, it may lead to a lowering of the demand for shark fin soup and consumption of shark products, which will aid ocean conservation efforts,” said study co-author Neil Hammerschlag, a University of Miami professor of marine affairs and policy.
SINGAPORE: The World Bank on Friday said the world’s oceans were at risk and called for a coalition of governments, NGOs and other groups to protect them, aiming to raise $1.5 billion in five years.
“The world’s oceans are in danger,” from over-fishing, marine degradation and loss of habitat, World Bank president Robert Zoellick said. “Send out the S-O-S: We need to Save Our Seas.”
About 85 percent of ocean fisheries are fully exploited, over-exploited or depleted, including most of the stocks of the top 10 species, he told the World Oceans Summit in Singapore.
This is a really great idea, even if only for their tagline: THERE IS NO PLAN BEE! LOL!
OK, we made that up. But so are dozens of customs that purport to usher prosperity and longevity into our lives.
The fact of the matter is this – sharks’ fins do not add any flavour to your soup – it’s the other ingredients that make the soup taste what it tastes like. Stay away from it, and the whole marine eco-system will thank you for it, and you never know, you might be making your own luck by doing just that.
“We will seriously solve this problem,” Songtham Suksawang said yesterday in his capacity as the head of DNP nationalparks division. Many diving sites at famous marine national parks in the Andaman Sea have been closed to tourists since January 21 after coral bleaching killed a large portion of reefs.
“We will propose zoning for diving attractions,” Songtham said.He added that admissionfee hike and the ceiling on the number of tourists each day might also be used to protect the coral reefs.Songtham was speaking during a brainstorming session on the coralbleaching crisis.
A headline-making UN scheme to preserve the world’s sharks has been a resounding failure, according to a report on Thursday that pins the blame on Indonesia, India, Spain and Taiwan and 16 other major catchers of the fish.
Dolphin loves freedom. No argument can rationalise the forced confinement of these highly intelligent creatures. I believe it is wrong to remove these beautiful marine animals from their natural environment and exploit them for commercial purposes. Dolphins and whales in captivity is not about education or conservation, it is about one thing – profit.