"The Shark Conservation Act has finally passed the finish line. Oceana applauds Congress and its ocean heroes for passing such an important piece of legislation. Sharks now have a reason to celebrate this holiday season." - Beth Lowell, federal policy director, Oceana
Well, good. Because when I think of Christmas, there's nothing that warms my heart more than the vision of a swarm of celebrating sharks. For all I know there may well have been a shark in the manger on that long ago night in Bethlehem, so I'd hate to see our dagger-toothed predators slighted.
But it isn't a very festive occasion for our Chinese friends, now is it? Not when our activist do-something congress has worked overtime for the passage of the 'Shark Conservation Act', an insane piece of legislation that will make getting a decent bowl of Shark Fin Soup an even more difficult and expensive act than it already is.
The bill conserves sharks rather than preserves them, in that it places no restrictions on the harvesting of sharks. What it does is require fishermen to retain the entire shark prior to inspection, rather than just cutting off the fins and dumping the shark back into the ocean. Critics note that this necessitates the hauling of tons of fish for only a few pounds of payoff.
"This will, of course, have a chilling effect on Chinese restaurants around the world," said renowned Chinese chef Chan Yan-tak. "But I believe you will find the effect most harsh here in the United States. Even though most upscale eateries have an ample stock of shark fins, the impact will be immediate. Millions of Americans eat at Chinese Restaurants on Christmas, but this year they should not expect to see a smiling waiter cheerfully greeting them. And do not even dream of ordering a bowl of Shark Fin Soup. We will be keeping it for ourselves. For your loss and sorrow, you have only John Kerry to blame!"
"Talk about your unintended consequences," moans Senator Kerry who sponsored the bill. "Like any man of wealth and taste, I love a good bowl of Shark Fin Soup, but from what Mr Yan-tak said, I'm the last person on earth who will ever get to taste it again. They'll probably have my picture in the kitchens..."
"Look, I profess no affection for any creature that would just as soon rip you apart as look at you, but I saw this as a public safety bill. You see, when the fisherman take these animals, cut their fins off, and dump them back into the ocean, it's an ugly scene. Sharks are vicious enough to begin with, but you do that and they get so pissed of they'll bite into anything with two legs. I know that for a fact. I was windsurfing a couple of years ago and was attacked by a finless hammerhead that nearly bit my board in two trying to get at me, so I'm afraid I've got to advise Mr Yan-tak that if he wants the fin, he's going to have to deal with the whole shark."
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