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.
- 60 twitter followers of Green Kampong Founder and Earth Hour Celebrity Ambassador Nadya Hutagalung, and
- 6 friends of Green Kampong’s Desmond Koh
who will go vegetarian for 1 month
Please enter your name, twitter user namer and also the date you are starting your challenge in the comments box below and send us a tweet @greenkampong @nadya_hutagalng @sportinc as well.
So come take on this challenge and do something green for our planet!
Earth Hour: 31 March 2012, 8:30PM
| Join Nadya in Loving Our Earth this V-Day Happy Valentine’s Day! Single or attached, you can show your love in sustainable ways.
Say no to roses and cut flowers. Get your loved one a potted plant – a living present that lasts.
Nadya’s Valentine Challenge
Nadya has pledged to cycle to the Earth Hour event at Orchard Road on 31 March if Desmond can get 6 of his friends to go vegetarian for a month. Similarly, Desmond will cycle to the event if 60 of Nadya’s Twitter followers go vegetarian for a month.
Think you can outdo Nadya? Post your challenge!
Top Photo: Gentoo penguins, Antarctica © Wim van Passel / WWF-Canon
Does anyone know if trawling is banned in Singapore waters?
Banning trawling will allow a living habitat of soft corals, sponges and numerous bottom-dwelling creatures on the seabed to regrow — which will in return support numerous seafood species popular among Hong Kong people. Top fisheries scientists have predicted that just five years after the implementation of the trawling ban (and commercial fishing in marine parks), populations of squid and cuttlefish will increase by 35 percent and that of reef fish by 20 percent. Populations of larger fish, such as groupers and croakers, will surge by 40 to 70 percent as well.
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.
The film was released in 2009 and became one of the most talked-about films of the year.
In partnership with NTUC FairPrice, Young NTUC and with the support of the British High Commission:
Venue: NTUC Auditorium
Date: 24 June
Time: 7.00pm registration, 7.30pm film starts
Limited seats available, please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org by June 18th.