8 of 9
Jaws: A pricey snack
Jaws: A pricey snack
Shark fins
Banned in: The U.S.

Shark fin soup, a Chinese delicacy, was once an indulgence only the very rich could afford. However, as Asian economies have grown, more people are serving the soup at weddings, banquets, and other celebrations.

While expensive - one bowl in the U.S. might cost as much as $100 - shark fin soup is not illegal. However, "shark finning"- cutting the fins off a shark and then dumping the carcass back into the ocean - is prohibited in U.S. waters. Fishermen covet shark fins for their high market price, but other shark meat has little value; in addition, the fins, dried in the sun, are easy to transport, while whole sharks are not.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Shark Finning Prohibition Act, enacted in 2000, fins can only comprise 5% of a fisherman's total shark haul; the Coast Guard, NOAA, and state officials enforce this rule at sea and at the docks. Most shark fins are exported to Hong Kong and other Asian cities, although some make their way to American Chinatowns or Asian specialty markets. Prized for its medicinal properties, shark's fin soup is actually fairly simple: chicken stock, mushrooms, scallions, some spices, and the fin itself, its cartilaginous flesh boiled until tender.

Dying to try it for yourself? Head to Stella! restaurant in New Orleans, where it's a signature ingredient.

NEXT: A taxing plan to slim down San Francisco

Email | Print | Share  |  RSS
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
LAST UPDATE: Nov 18 2009 | 12:10 PM ET
More Galleries
5 startups that are reimagining the world Bricks that grow from microorganisms, household garbage turned into art, three-wheeled bike-cars -- these startups are redefining urban living. More
Blue collar entrepreneurs These five entrepreneurs took their blue collar experience and used it to launch innovative businesses. More
7 lifehacks to eliminate your holiday hassle Whether curating the perfect gift or finding a pet-sitter, these startups offer time-saving services that might just seem like holiday magic. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.