by Ali Berman
Categories: Animals
Tags: .

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay recently traveled to Costa Rica to investigate and expose the world of shark finning for a new TV show. However, when Ramsay met face to face with the gangsters who make their money off of brutally slaughtering sharks, they doused him with gasoline and held him and his crew at gunpoint. For their own safety, the police advised the chef and the crew to leave the country.

Ramsay told the Daily Mail:

“It’s a multibillion-dollar industry, completely unregulated. We traced some of the biggest culprits to Costa Rica. These gangs operate from places like forts, with barbed-wire and gun towers.

“At one, I managed to shake off the people keeping us away, ran up some stairs to a rooftop and looked down to see thousands of fins, drying on rooftops for as far as the eye could see. When I got back downstairs, they tipped a barrel of petrol over me.

“Back at the wharf, there were people pointing rifles at us to stop us filming. A van pulled up and these seedy characters made us stand against a wall. The police came and advised us to leave the country. They said, ’If you set one foot in there, they’ll shoot you.’”

For those of you who don’t know, shark fins are used in shark fin soup. The animals are caught, their fins are cut off and then they either die on the boat from suffocation, or they are thrown back into the water while they are still alive to bleed out. Either way, it’s a gruesome end.

We hope everyone on the cast and crew is okay. We also hope they got enough footage to be able to further expose this cruel practice and the people who make their living off of it.

Via Yahoo

About Ali Berman

Ali Berman is the author of Choosing a Good Life: Lessons from People Who Have Found Their Place in the World (Hazelden) and Misdirected (Seven Stories Press). She works as a humane educator for HEART teaching kids about issues affecting people, animals and the environment. Her published work can be found on her website at In early 2012 Ali co-founded flipmeover, a production company with the mission to use media to raise awareness of social issues.

View all posts by Ali Berman →
  • km

    This dude has balls. Bravo. He should join up with Pete Bethune. While I don’t agree with Pete’s actions on that Japanese whaling ship, he clearly has no fear and the two of them could expose a lot of sketchy stuff. And they should bring this crew with them.
    Shark finning is so ridiculously cruel.

  • Amanda

    Unbelievable… Never, ever, ever eat shark fin products. Take away the financial incentive from these criminal thugs.

  • georgina

    I have no sympathy whatsoever for Ramsay after the puffin incident, but i have to say that to risk life and limb to expose the shark fining industry is a bold move. It makes me terribly sad though that this is still happening in my own country and the Laura Chinchilla government isn’t doing a thing to stop it.
    I would love to know if those people are Costa Rican or from other countries.

    • herwin

      Hola tica ;-)
      These people are fisherman from Costa Rica, and concentrated in Puntarenas. (where else, eh?)
      I remember Sea Shepherd was there one time and took some pics from sharkfins drying on rooftops.
      Maybe its time to start a small yet long lasting and hopefully effective writing / emailing campaign and address the issue in Costa Rican media. Who ? You of course ! Go girrrrrl !

      • georgina

        Hey there :)
        You are absolutely right, and i will do it.

    • Rollsy22

      Catching and eating a puffin does not even compare – unless you happen to be vegetarian? It’s no different to catching and killing a chicken – they are not endangered and you generally eat the whole bird.
      Finning is brutally cruel – it’s like cutting the wings of birds and then leaving them to flap around until something eats them/runs them over/they starve or cutting the legs off any other animal and doing the same.
      Many of the shark species are endangered and even for those that aren’t the rest of th emeat/fish is just disgarded – I’ not a fan of Gordan Ramsay particulalry but fair play to him for bringing this disgusting trade back into the limelight.

      • georgina

        It may not compare to you but to a vegan what matters is that Ramsay broke the wings of the puffin to keep him from fighting back and then mutilated it. He made that bird suffer. That is my issue with him and nobody has to agree with that.

        And yeah rollsy, you are basically agreeing with what i said, i don’t care for Ramsay but do applaud him for trying to expose the industry, which is nothing but barbaric. No less than killing billions of farm animals for food, no less than skinning live rabbits, foxes, and snakes for fur trims and purses. If they can suffer then it is barbaric no matter what animal it is or whether the animal is an endangered species or a franken-chicken.

  • Pat Robinson

    The fact that we not only put up with these horrific, cruel and barbaric shark murders but also import the fins into the US for our consumption of the soup… says a lot about the hearts of our citizens.
    Hanging beautiful husky dogs from a wire noose with their feet touching the ground to fight for days for their lives… just to sweeten the meat with the hormones produced by the struggle… also says volumes about the products we endorse by importing the dog meat from China, Korea and Japan.
    We also torture pigs to sweeten the meat.
    When are we going to realize that out eating habits are insane.
    It takes a heartless race to tolerate these actions… and not even blink.

  • don miguelo

    I feel like Google Earth would provide some good pictures of this too. Might be safer than running up a tower and getting doused in petrol, however cool that is!

  • Samuel Bangura

    I’m serious, team up Gordon Ramsay with Ross Kemp and they can start their own show. Gordon should tempt the criminals into a complimentary dinner at one of his Michelin- Starred. Then Ross Kemp should come in with his camera crew and try to interview them but then the criminals would pull out their guns, then Ramsay would come up behind them and know them out with a frying pan!!! That’s the pilot show right there!!!

  • karen

    Anyone who has ever eaten at his “Plane Food” restaurant at Haethrow should also point a gun at his head the food there is terrible.

  • maylyn

    covered in petrol was he??..Lucky there was no naked flame…Gordon stick to what you do best…cooking!!!

    • Chris H.

      He could’ve been flambe’d!

      Sounds like he watched “Sharkwater” by Rob Stewart…

  • HB

    Too lucky! Twat!!!

  • Mommy

    I applaud him for bringing attention to this horribly cuel torture but how can advocate eating horsemeat when it’s been documented many many times the cruelty, torture, & pain the animals suffer before being bled to death. I am also glad noone was hurt during this filming.

  • Michael Raymer

    Shark fins play a prominent roll in the old Iron Chef Japan series. Even there, the commentators would say that they are basically flavorless , but considered a delicacy nonetheless. I always found that strange and now when I watch these old episodes , with greater awareness of the situation, I consider it sad.


      True dat. I think the real appeal of things like shark fin are novelty and stubborn devotion to hokey traditional medicine.

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