Reply To: Hong Kong Disneyland shark fin soup controversy


Email from friend of mine, Martin Turner – circulated, inc to Don Robinson of HK Disneyland:

Hi Have you seen sharks having their fins sliced off and then being thrown back alive into the sea to die? It is quite disgusting. And all for the supposed ‘delicacy’ of shark’s fin soup. As well as being cruel and wasteful, the rate at which sharks are being caught severely threatens many species and entire marine ecosystems.

If you’re in Hong Kong, you must have heard that Disneyland here is planning to serve shark’s fin soup at its restaurants. It has accepted that this is a BAD THING to do, eg. by offering to give out leaflets saying so each time the dish is served. But isn’t it a bit late then? Lately, the company has offered to use ‘sustainable’ supplies, but this isn’t practicable, say environmental organisations such as WWF.

This is an issue where, right now, we can make a difference. Disney is susceptible to public opinion, and if it decides to withdraw shark’s fin from its menus, we will be sending a strong signal that this ghastly and destructive practice can be stopped. See this sample protest letter from Animals Asia, and please write to the Disney leaders at the addresses they give: [letter gone now; edited later]

cheers Martin Turner

Latest News HK Outdoors Forum

Further Reading: Shark Finning Faces Broader Sanctions. (11 Dec 2004)

Clipping the fin trade. Science News 162 (Oct. 12):232-234.

______. 2002. No way to make soup—Thirty-two tons of contraband shark fins seized on the high seas. Science News Online (Sept. 7).

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 2004. Fact Sheet: Shark Management (Dec. 3). Available at

Watts, S., et al. 2001. The End of the Line? Global Threats to Sharks. San Francisco: Wildaid. Available at

For further information about sharks from the Pelagic Shark Research Foundation, go to For NOAA’s Shark Web site, go to References: Animals Asia 2004.

International commission adopts U.S. proposal for shark finning ban. U.S. Department of Commerce/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration press release. Nov. 23. Available at 2002. NMFS announces final rule to implement the Shark Finning Prohibition Act. National Marine Fisheries Service press release. Feb. 11. Available at

Soto, O.R. 2004. A legal matter of great delicacy. San Diego Union-Tribune (Dec. 6).

United Nations General Assembly. 2004. Sustainable Fisheries Resolution A/59/L.23: 59/25 of the Oceans and the Law of the Sea (Nov. 17): Available at

The American Elasmobranch Society has a home page at