Dear Ms. Cheung Lai Shing, Lucia
RE: Cafe De Coral Premium Ingredients/Wetland Park Menu
I wish to take this opportunity and express my sincere disappointment to note that Cafe De Coral, through its website, advertises the consumption of shark fin as a premium ingredient, and as a main dish at the ‘Government’ Wetland Park (a place of conservation/education interest). This promotion may appear to be advertised in poor taste and shows zero consideration for the lack of awareness about an issue that has received worldwide media publicity in recent years. The department of AFCD should also be equally ashamed for allowing food outlets to serve such contentious dishes.
It is well-documented that shark fin consumption in Asia is the main contributor of shark declines worldwide. Growing demand for the product has triggered a gold rush to cash in on the high price for shark fins. However, as extremely slow breeders, sharks are unable to cope with the intense fishing pressure. Unlike most fish, that produce millions of eggs at a time over a shorter length of time, shark reproduction is more like that of dolphins and whales. Generally, they do not reach reproductive age until their teens, have very few offspring each time and have amongst the longest gestation period of any family in the entire animal kingdom!
As a result, shark fishing today is an extremely unsustainable industry and has contributed to the disappearance of many shark species in our oceans. Scientists have warned that some species have declined by over 90% and the list of threatened and endangered sharks continues to grow. The disappearance of sharks will also have detrimental knock on effects on other marine species and affect some of the fish stocks that we humans rely on for food.
There is nothing sustainable about shark finning.
Like myself, I believe many people in Hong Kong will feel equally strongly about your promotion as I do and may be reluctant to even visit the Wetland Park. I therefore appeal to Cafe De Coral to change its menu and website advertising as such promotions is counterproductive to the long-term image of Cafe de Coral .
Previous campaigns against Disneyland Hong Kong, Hong Kong Tourism Board, Citibank, MasterCard and Singapore Airlines have all resulted in them withdrawing their shark fin advertising offers, with overwhelming global response being the persuasive factor.
Thank you for your attention, and I hope that you will take this correspondence in the constructive manner that it is intended. I would also be available to speak with your staff at both the Wetland Park and head office about this issue.
Charles Frew, MSc