Li Yanliang, deputy director of the ministry’s Fishing Department, told a press conference held by the Information Office of the State Council, that China’s catching, import and export of sharks is conducted strictly in accordance with international laws.
He denied reports saying that Chinese fishermen throw sharks away after catching and cutting off their fins.
The Chinese government encourages a “rational and sustained” development of fish resources and the overall use of sharks, he said. It bans the partial use of sharks. Those found breaking the regulations are “severely” dealt with, he added.
Li admitted that the consumption of shark fin in China, a dish in upscale restaurants, is not declining, but pointed out that the government is considering listing some endangered sharks as protected animals.
In line with international conventions on endangered wild animals and plants, whale shark and white shark are listed as the world’s second-class protected animals.