Hong Kong has long been a hub for the illegal ivory trade, and suffers from weak ivory licensing controls. The city's ivory market is booming due to an influx of tourists seeking luxury items — and that's impeding international efforts to end Africa’s elephant poaching crisis. Hong Kong is also the primary market for shark fin soup. Demand for this delicacy has led to overfishing of many vulnerable shark species.
A recent survey by our partner Save the Elephants of 72 Hong Kong retail outlets found nearly 31,000 ivory items displayed for sale, with jewelry the most popular item followed by figurines. Vendors estimated that 90% of customers were tourists from mainland China. The Hong Kong government's inaction on the issue is perpetuating a modern-day elephant poaching crisis.
WildAid, African Wildlife Foundation and Save the Elephants are running a major public awareness campaign in Hong Kong to reduce the demand for ivory while encouraging the Hong Kong government to ban the trade. Meanwhile, WildAid's campaign against shark fin has measurably reduced demand for shark fin soup.