Fins from up to 73 million sharks are used in shark fin soup every year
As apex predators, sharks play a crucial role in maintaining marine biodiversity. Yet fins from up to 73 million sharks are used in shark fin soup each year. Consumption of this luxury dish has led to overfishing of many vulnerable shark species, as well as to the inhumane practice of finning. WildAid is campaigning to reduce shark fin consumption in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Thailand, and to secure further restrictions to the global shark fin trade.
More than 70 shark species are at risk of extinction.
Shark fin consumption has fallen by more than 80% in China.
Of Chinese residents surveyed by WildAid, 93% had not consumed shark fin in the previous 6 years.
Making an impact
Since 2011, there has been an estimated 50-70% decrease in shark fin consumption in China. In October 2016, China’s CITES Management Authority announced that shark fin consumption in China had fallen by more than 80%. Further, the China Seafood Logistic and Processing Association reported that shark fin imports into China decreased by 81% from 2011 to 2014. Similarly, wholesale shark fin sales in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou declined by the same amount between 2010 and 2014. The prices of wholesale shark fins declined by 50-67% from $270-300 per kilogram in 2011 to $90-150 in 2014.
In 2016, we conducted a follow-up survey of Chinese residents to measure changes in attitudes and awareness toward shark conservation. The survey found that 93% of respondents had not consumed shark fin in the previous 6 years. Nearly 80% had seen WildAid campaign messages, and 98.8% agreed that the messages successfully raised awareness about shark protection and the need to reject shark fin consumption.
In addition to changing consumer attitudes, we have been instrumental in convincing dozens of airlines and shipping companies not to transport shark fins, as well as restaurants and hotel chains not to serve shark fin soup.