Shark fin soup has been associated with a variety of benefits from increased virility to longer life. However, the fin is purely cartilage, the same compound in human, cow and other vertebrates. Cartilage has no nutritional value. Any benefit would come from the broth and other ingredients added. The fact is, shark fins are high in mercury, a known reproductive, developmental toxin and one that can cause permanent nerve and brain damage. The process of treating and drying shark fins can actually concentrate mercury and make the levels higher. The World Health Organization has tested shark fins and determined some fins to be so high that one bowl of soup would exceed the recommended exposure. Wild Aid has similarly tested fins for soup and determined that people who consume shark fin soup even occasionally are at risk to high mercury levels. Shark meat is also high in mercury. The California State Office of Environmental Health Assessment has tested sharks from the San Francisco Bay and make the recommendation to eat zero portions of sharks from the bay. We can protect human health and shark populations by avoiding consumption of any shark products.
Support Restaurants like Benu in San Francisco who are developing healthy alternatives to shark fin. All the flavor and texture without the fin.