As the origin and hub of the shark fin trade, Hong Kong SAR’s decision last month to ban shark fin from official government functions is a major move forward in stopping the unsustainable slaughter of sharks. Hong Kong SAR is also banning bluefin tuna and black moss as the government moves towards sustainability-conscious food consumption.
“The government is determined to take the lead and set a good example on this front that goes beyond the minimum expectation as laid down in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES),” the government stated in a September 13 press release.
Earlier this year, the “I’m FINished with Fins” campaign was launched by Shark Savers in partnership with WWF-Hong Kong SAR, Nat Geo Wild, National Geographic, and WildAid in Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Hong Kong SAR. The campaign is currently seeking 100,000 Hong Kong SAR citizens to pledge through an online platform not to consume shark fin soup.
“This is a very welcome move from the government and another nail in the coffin of this often cruel, wasteful, and unsustainable trade. Our awareness campaigns, Beijing’s ban at official government events, and state bans in the US have all combined to reduce demand for shark fin by over 50% according to some reports. We are hearing from fisheries that the price has dropped so much it’s no longer profitable to keep hunting sharks just for their fins, which means they will get some much-needed relief from the fishing pressure,” said Peter Knights, WildAid’s Executive Director.
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WildAid is a non-profit organization with a mission to end the illegal wildlife trade in our lifetimes. While most wildlife conservation groups focus on protecting animals from poaching, WildAid primarily works to reduce global consumption of wildlife products such as elephant ivory, rhino horn and shark fin soup. With an unrivaled portfolio of celebrity ambassadors and a global network of media partners, WildAid leverages more than $230 million in annual pro-bono media support with a simple message: When the Buying Stops, the Killing Can Too.
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