Tagging Shark Fin Soup

oceana.org on shark fin soup:

Shark finning involves cutting off the shark’s fins while it is still alive, and then tossing the body back into to the sea, dead or dying. Finning only utilizes 2 – 5 percent of the entire animal, throwing away sources of protein and potential commercial and medicinal products. Up to 73 million sharks are killed every year to support the international shark fin market, threatening already overexploited shark populations around the world. Sharks are slow-growing and long-lived animals, and often their populations cannot bounce back from the incredible fishing pressure placed upon them for their fins. In fact, one-fifth of all shark species are considered threatened with extinction according to the World Conservation Union’s (IUCN) 2006 Red List of Threatened Species.

Oceana’s campaign to convince Amazon.com to remove shark fin soup has apparently been effective. The two pages I found on the site selling shark fin soup are both marked “This item is currently not available.”

Interestingly, the campaign seems to have been two-pronged — the usual email letter writing, as well as consumers using Amazon’s tagging and rating features to weigh in. Both items are currently ranked with just one out of five stars, and include tags like these:


The read/write web in action. Of course Amazon isn’t the world’s only purveyor of cruelty-generated food, but it is an important one.

Music: The Streets :: Don’t Mug Yourself

2 Replies to “Tagging Shark Fin Soup”

  1. While I don’t have any problems with the email writing and rating bumps, I do have to take exception to the tag vandalism. The end does not, and must not, justify the means.


  2. Well, you’ve got a point. In a way, this could be considered abuse of a system, making it less useful for others. As a widespread practice it could become troublesome like a form of spam. On the other hand, the tagging system is public, and is meant to put stuff into semantic buckets that are sensible to each individual user. So on that count, an argument could be made that it’s not vandalism at all. I dunno – interesting one.

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