Reply To: So Many Fish yet No Shark Fin Soup


From article in NY Times:

A survey of about 1,000 Hong Kong residents, published here earlier this month and believed to be the most in-depth study of its kind to date, showed 78 percent of respondents considered it “acceptable” to leave shark fin soup off the menu at events like weddings.

That is a pretty surprising majority, considering the dish’s tremendous status-symbol appeal. Moreover, since nearly 90 percent of the soup is consumed at such set-menu affairs, this shift is an important sign that actual consumption in Hong Kong could be waning.

Commissioned by Bloom, a nongovernmental organization that aims to protect vulnerable marine species, and conducted by the University of Hong Kong, the survey found that 89 percent of respondents understood that shark populations were declining.

Although 58 percent of respondents said they had made no change to the amount of shark fin soup they had consumed over the past five years, more than a third said they had cut down.

In another sign that the topic is getting top-level attention, a deputy of the National People’s Congress in Beijing, Ding Liguo, filed a proposal last month to ban trade in shark fins, according to a report from Xinhua, the state-run news agency.

“Only legislation can stop shark fin trading and reduce the killings of sharks,” Mr. Ding said, adding that the mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan consume 95 percent the world’s fins.

people in Hong Kong favor action to protect sharks. Nearly 90 percent of respondents in the Bloom survey said Hong Kong should ban the sale of products that involve killing endangered species. A similar proportion supports a prohibition of shark fin imports into Hong Kong.

Still, campaigners say they are deeply worried that change is coming too slowly.

Attitudes Shifting on Shark Fin Soup