Shark Attack Survivors Now Saving Sharks

By Jason Middleton
|  Monday, Aug 13, 2012  |  Updated 11:16 AM PDT
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The DNA of eight shark species found in 51 bowls of soup in 14 cities.

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Surviving a shark attack is no doubt harrowing, nightmarish and terrifying -- but it doesn't stop some survivors from fighting to save their attackers' prized dorsal fins.

Endangered or threatened species of sharks are showing up in controversial shark fin soup in some cities, according to the SFExaminer.com. Possession of fins has been banned in California, upsetting many in the Chinese community, who consider it a delicacy. The soup can cost $100 a bowl. 

A group of survivors -- some having lost limbs to attacking sharks -- fanned across 14 American cities -- including San Francisco and Los Angeles -- to examine different soups for shark DNA that would prove some resaurants are using endangered, threatened or vulnerable sharks in their food.

The survivors' group has lobbied Congress and the United Nations to close any loopholes in the banning of the culinary practice. Fins can be generated legally via fish farms, but a known practice is to catch a shark, take its fin and then toss it back -- guaranteeing its death. 

One lawyer representing some opponents of the ban calls the entire idea "anti-Chinese."

The project was sponsored by the Pew Environment Group.

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