Hong Kong chain stops serving shark fin

26 Jan 2012
Shark fin soup. Credit: Chensiyuan

Shark fin soup. Credit: Chensiyuan

The Hong Kong-based luxury hotel chain Shangri-La has announced it will stop serving shark fin at its 72 properties worldwide.

The announcement came two months after another Hong Kong-based Peninsula Hotels group said it would stop selling shark fin from this year. The campaign has also received a boost in Singapore, after Carrefour and Singapore's largest supermarket chain NTUC FairPrice said they would halt sales of shark fin products.

Commissioner Damanaki commented: "If we lose sharks, there will be an imbalance in the oceanic ecosystem which will result in long term damage: we need to protect sharks. But rules will be much more effective if supported by a shared commitment: therefore, I sincerely welcome the decision of an ever growing number of hotel chains, restaurants and retailers to stop serving shark fin soup."

Every year, about 73 million sharks are killed solely for their fins and these end up in shark fin soup. Asia remains the largest consumer of shark fins, but the world’s largest exporter of shark fins is the European Union.

Sharks are slow in reproducing and late to mature and several species are now under the threat of extinction. Hammerhead sharks have declined by 99% in the Mediterranean. The European Union put in place a Shark Finning Ban in 2003.

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