Should Shark Fin Soup Be Removed From the Menu at Marriott?

Although not purely shark fin soup, this Fujian-style buldojang served during a flight operated by Asiana does contain shark fin — along with abalone, dried scallop and sea cucumber — which is all cooked with dark chicken meat. Photograph by FlyerTalk member ORDnHKG. Click on the photograph for a trip report written by ORDnHKG.

A plea to Marriott International, Incorporated to ban shark fin soup from the menus of its restaurants has been posted by FlyerTalk member Allvest, who threatens to do business with competing lodging chains which officially proclaim their ban against having shark fin soup served in their restaurants.
This is not the first time there has been criticism about a company in the travel industry pertaining to shark fin soup. In April of 2008, FlyerTalk member FlyingUnderTheRadar chastised Delta Air Lines for serving shark fin soup as part of a celebration of the first flight to China for the airline.
The controversy behind shark fin soup is that the shark population is supposedly being significantly decimated due to the fins being harvested inhumanely by removing them. The sharks are then dumped back into the ocean alive but unable to swim without their fins.
The fin of the shark supposedly adds texture to this delicacy of Chinese origin, as the Chinese people believe that shark fin soup is a health food, an aphrodisiac for men, and the secret to a beautiful complexion for women, according to FlyerTalk member AndyTLe. The flavor contributed to the soup from the shark fin is insignificant at best, potentially meaning that the shark fin could easily be substituted without any noticeable difference in taste.
Given that realization, I would not be surprised if unscrupulous proprietors of restaurants are serving shark fin soup to clueless patrons where not even a scintilla of evidence of a shark has been within 100 miles of the soup.
To be clear, the consumption of shark fin soup is not the only controversial topic related to dining amongst FlyerTalk members. For example, there was a contentious debate about foie gras being served in the premium class cabin on flights operated by British Airways.
I have eaten shark once or twice before — although I cannot recall if it was in the form of shark fin soup — and I sampled a foie gras appetizer on a flight operated by Air France on its Concorde aircraft from New York to Paris. If I never had to eat shark or foie gras ever again, I would not be sad in the least — so I have no strong opinion either way in this debate.
Should food whose main ingredients consist of endangered species be banned — or should the cultural and religious beliefs of people who regularly dine on the food in question prevail? Can a compromise between ethical and traditional values to both preserve endangered species while still allowing humans to continue enjoying delicacies be reached — as long as that consumption is limited within reason?
What do you think?

11 thoughts on “Should Shark Fin Soup Be Removed From the Menu at Marriott?”

  1. Bloodshot2k says:


  2. rbphilip says:

    Of course it should be removed. I’m stunned it’s even there.

  3. dd992emo says:

    This subject ranks just below the legalization of marijuana in my “don’t care” index…

  4. ORDnHKG says:

    Thanks for bringing back my photo !
    Btw, they can actually fake the shark fin in the shark fin soup. If anyone had been to Hong Kong, one of the common “street snacks” is actually shark fin soup selling for $10 HKD ! You can even get that at lunch or dinner in fast food restaurant like Cafe de Coral. The look and the taste exactly the same as real shark fin soup, the only difference is shark fin replace by vermicelli noodle.

  5. moeve says:

    If it is the real stuff then yes it should be off and they should be really ashamed of themselves for it!
    Heaven help us stupid humans if there is just one animal in the final jury we all stand to face no matter what cread you are.

  6. all168 says:

    Yes, shark fin smell fishy and they have no taste at all, chef need to cook it with other stuff to make it taste good, but the good taste not come from the shark fin, but the other stuff. In this case, why not use imitation instead? The only reason imitation is not work are people show off that they can afford shark fin, they are self fish, and the shark fin nutrient isn’t especially better than other fish. I fell sad that people catch the shark, cut the fin, then dump it back to the ocean.

  7. Wingtipflyer1 says:

    Needs to go off the menu.

  8. JHam says:

    I work for Marriott International. Which hotel is serving the soup? A year ago, we took it off the menus.

  9. Radiant Flyer says:

    Remove it off the menu.

  10. FlyingUnderTheRadar says:

    This campaign is not swipe against any religion, culture, or custom. If you want to believe turtle eggs gives you machismo or shark fin gives you good fortunate that is your business. Believe what you want. So those who play the religion, culture, or custom card are out of line.
    HOWEVER, when in the course practicing a religion, culture, or custom that the harvesting of an animal becomes unsustainable or is done a barbaric fashion then it is unacceptable. Does not what animal it is. I take a similar stand with animal husbandry regardless of the animal – and yes I eat meat, fish, dairy, eggs, etc.
    FWIW I took on Disney several years ago for serving such soup at their theme park in Hong Kong. They came to the conclusion that there was no sustainable source for shark fin and decided it was in their best interest to remove it from their menu.

  11. Allvest says:

    Unfortunately, while Sharkfin has “officially” been taken off the menu, Marriott HQ has thus far been unable to get it removed from the kitchens. Being that shark fin is a favourite for banquets, removing it from their lunch menu does precious little except sweet the problem under the rug.
    If Marriott were serious about really banning shark fin from their properties’ kitchens they would remove the Marriott/Renaissance brand from any property violating such ban. A corporation such as Marriott should have the ethics wherewithal and “balls” to get it done.
    See below article that it’s not “only” sharks being sacrificed for the sake of vanity, but dolphins too:

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