KQED Science: Will Bioengineered Shark Fin Help Save Sharks?

By Daniel Potter and Christina Farr

Many of the 100 million sharks killed each year are slaughtered for their fins alone. The fins are used in shark fin soup, a prized delicacy in Asia.

California is one of 10 states that have banned the sale of shark fins, to help protect the animals. The International Union for Conservation of Nature says one-third of all shark species are threatened with extinction.

Now a San Francisco-based startup hopes its technology will reduce demand for their fins.

New Wave Foods is developing an imitation shark fin, called Smart Fin, that the company expects will be ready this summer. It’s intended to be an alternative for a banned luxury item. About 30 chefs have already signed up to sell Smart Fin in their restaurants.