The Humane Society tells us that, by their count, the controversial shark fin soup is on the menu in at least 55 restaurants in NYC. But one restaurant that used to belong to their ranks, Shun Lee West, has now decided to drop it. "I received many calls urging us to stop selling shark fin soup because of the horrible way sharks are killed," manager Henry Nuesch said in a statement. "I realized that it would be better for my business and for sharks to remove shark fin soup from the menu." Unfortunately, other restaurateurs aren't as enlightened as Shun Lee West; upscale places like Mr. Chow still have it on the menu, where it costs $14.
Surveys suggest that the "delicacy" may be on the way out in China and Hong Kong, where it's often served as a status symbol at weddings, but more than 73 million sharks are still killed every year for their fins, according to the Humane Society International. They're often harvested through "finning," a practice that involves slicing off the fins of a shark and discarding the animal at sea to drown or bleed to death. The dish is on the menu at hundreds of restaurants nationwide, although Hawaii, at least, has banned the possession, sale and trade of shark fins.
In NYC, you can find it at large banquet halls in Chinatown like Golden Unicorn, Jing Fong, Grand Harmony Palace. But if you're revolted by this sort of thing and find it on a menu, the Humane Society International has note cards available for those who want to politely urge the restaurant to do better. You can print them out here!