Archive for November, 2010

Getting out of hot soup

“Why don’t you take shark’s fins soup?”

The Thresher shark. An incredibly shy creature. It is slowly recovering from being overfished.

How many of us ask this question when we see someone refusing to have their share at a wedding dinner? And how many of us know the answer? Or perhaps, the “right” thing to do?

There is no lack of literature and documentaries about shark conservation out there. Do a google and you should be able to find the information you need. I am neither a scientist nor a marine biologist, but I do believe the information that is presented because it makes sense. Not only is shark finning unsustainable, it can also be very cruel. After cutting up the fins, the sharks are thrown back into the ocean. Most sharks need to swim in order to breathe. Without those fins, they literally drown in their own habitat where they either wait and die or get eaten up by something else. If you are interested, “Sharkwater” is a good documentary on shark conservation. “Oceans”, which was recently shown at the movies has some chilling footages of the killings, as well as some amazing footages on life underwater.

They might not be the cutest animals in the planet. Fearsome as they might look, most of them they are pretty much harmless towards humans. These creatures play an important role in balancing the ecosystem. I can only speak based on what I have read, seen and experienced.

Not all sharks sport the hanging rows of razor sharp teeth you see in movies. National Geographic did a documentary about the Thresher Sharks at this very location and was shown on TV couple of weeks back. After watching it with my parents, I told them, if you ever see them underwater, chances are, you will never want to take another bowl of shark’s fin again. It’s one of those unexplainable feeling that one gets.

I am a diver. I had my fair share of this “delicacy” up till now. A friend of mine (who’s also a diver) used to call me an irresponsible diver because of that. So I asked him, so what you done for shark conservation? By boycotting a bowl of shark’s fins soup? How many weddings do you attend a year? And while you excused yourself quietly during that course because you probably can’t bear to see them being eaten by your friends, what good does it do to educate the masses?

I don’t blame the people who take the soup during a wedding dinner. Afterall, it’s a happy occasion and as a guest, “boycotting” a dish definitely doesn’t make the hosts look good, especially in large numbers. I don’t think anyone would like to be caught in a situation where an entire table of guest boycotts a dish (short of holding up placards and shouting anti shark finning slogans…).

How about this? Spend a little time talking a close friend who’s getting married and let them know what you know about shark finning. If you can convince someone to change the menu to something else, you’d have easily saved a few hundred bowls of sharks fins. That’s more than a lifetime worth of boycotting shark’s fins soup (provided you get invited to a wedding every month for the next 20 years).

Suspect to be a pregnant shark. The gestation period for a shark can go up to about 2 years long. The long reproduction cycle and maturity period of a shark makes it even more vulnerable to extinction.

From the people I have spoken to, most said that it’s not really their choice to have shark’s fins on their menu, it’s the senior folks who insist on having them. I can totally understand their position. If they had it their way, I am sure shark’s fins will be off the menu. By the time our kids have their weddings; I believe we won’t be insisting on shark’s fins on the menu anymore, because there might not be sharks anymore. Our generation can wait, but they can’t.

Most hotels have replacements for shark fins soup that are equal in value, if not more. One that particularly caught my attention was the bird’s nest soup at The Capella. Freaking awesome soup… pity I wasn’t fast enough to get a second helping:x Not forgetting the “Buddha Jump over the wall” and “Eight Treasures soup”.

6 years in the wedding industry and I don’t think I have given much back to the society. I can’t say sharks are part of our society, but they definitely play an important role in the ecosystem. feldberyl images will be going on an awareness drive for shark conservation. A S$200 credit for any full course Chinese wedding dinner that goes without shark’s fins will be given to the couple upon sign up (Terms and Conditions apply). This will valid till 31st March 2011.

Suggested Articles:

WWF Hong Kong Shark Fin Initiative
Oceanic Defence – Stop Shark Finning

*Terms and Conditions:

1) S$200 credit only valid for full Chinese wedding dinner that do not serve Sharks-fin dishes.

2) Credit can only be used for the redemption of items such as prints, extra pages, albums, that have not been part of the original package couples have signed up.

3) Credit is not exchangeable for cash or rebates or to be used in combination with other promotions.

4) Valid for bookings made from December 2010 for new sign ups up to 31st March 2011.

Once upon a time in Shanghai

The first time I was in Shanghai was in 1988. I remembered we were touring China from Beijing all the way down to Guangzhou. The tour guide told us, “桂林看山头,上海看人头”. It’s surreal to be back there again after 20 odd years. Shanghai still lives up to it’s name as an extremely crowded city. Being the final week of the World Expo, I think half the population must’ve descended upon the city. But I have to say, as much as I dislike crowds, I really enjoyed the vibe at The Bund. It has this really vintage charm to it. 23deg breezy weather helped alot too. Kinda miss the feeling of not sweating while shooting.


A quick one from this morning. This is what you get when the ladies watch too much taiwanese variety programmes. It was quite tough gatecrashing, done in a very peaceful manner. Can I also add that I found the hidden key:D I earned my paycheck.

these shoes are made for walking

Seriously, we did ALOT of walking in Shanghai. Don’t trust them when they say, “it’s only 5mins walk from here…”.


Not the ris low type. Aircon decided to stop working this morning. Somehow, that inspired me to post more pictures on the blog. I’m no aircon man, so all I can do now is resuscitate the blog, while they do CPR on the aircon. Wedding day images to come soon… 😀



i think i’m still on less than 20 posts this year. time to play catch up.


trying to get used to posting again…