A Study of Shark Fin Trade between China and Southeast Asia in the Qing Dynasty
- 南海研究院-发表论文 
受中国饮食文化的影响,国人"食鱼翅"之俗在先秦时期已具雏形,最迟在明代中期,鱼翅已为国人食用。明代后期,中国与东南亚的鱼翅贸易开始萌发,至清代,中国与东南亚的鱼翅贸易大规模展开。其时,上流社会群体对鱼翅之"味肥美""长腰力""补肾"等品性极为推崇。随着追求的增多,鱼翅的消费市场明显扩大。上自皇室,下至中产之家,无论国人、洋人,不管婚丧嫁娶、祭祖庆典,筵席所用,必有鱼翅。鱼翅消费区域亦由沿海渐至内地,由较大城市向城镇扩展。如此,清代中国市场对鱼翅之需求呈大幅增多之势。巨大的市场需求,刺激了东南亚鱼翅市场的开发,东南亚的鱼翅被大量引进。质言之,明朝中期以降的奢靡之风和国人食补理念的扩散和深入,是这一时期鱼翅贸易迅猛增长的主要动因。Influenced by Chinese food culture, the custom of consuming shark fins took shape in the pre-Qin period and became widely popular in the mid-Ming Dynasty. Shark fin trade between China and Southeast Asia first emerged in late-Ming Dynasty and thrived in the Qing Dynasty. At that time, the high society craved shark fins for their ＂super taste＂ and effects in ＂boosting sexual potency＂ and ＂nourishing kidneys＂. Increased demand resulted in a markedly expanded consumer market, and shark fins become a must-have dish at banquets for funeral, wedding and ancestor worship ceremo- nies among not only the nobility but also middle-class families and both Chinese and foreigners. And the consumption of shark fins also spread from coastal regions to interior provinces and from urban centers to small towns. The Chinese market had an enormous demand for shark fins in the Qing Dynasty, leading to sharply increased exports from Southeast Asia. In short, the penchant for luxury and the spread of tonic food notions largely accounted for the upsurge in shark fin trade after the mid-Ming Dynasty.