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China To Stop Serving Shark Fin Soup At Official Functions

China To Stop Serving Shark Fin Soup At Official Functions

Facing huge pressure from conservationists around the world, the Chinese government recently announced that shark fin soup will likely be banned from official banquets within the next one to three years.

According to WildAid, the organization that made headlines when it enlisted Chinese basketball star Yao Ming to make an anti-shark finning Public Service Announcement, the administration’s decision came in response to a proposal submitted by 30 officials from the National People’s Congress, spearheaded by delegate Ding Liguo, who announced the news on his microblog on Friday.

As it’s name indicates, shark fin soup is made from the fins of the shark. Unfortunately, it requires a brutal  and wasteful process whereby the shark’s fins are hacked off while the animal is still alive, and the entirety of the carcass is tossed back into the ocean. Over 95 percent of the annual harvest of shark fin worldwide is consumed on the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan, according to a news report by people.com.cn.

Back in November 2011, Peninsula Hotels, Asia’s oldest hotel company, announced they would stop serving shark fin in its hotel restaurants and banquet operations.  Shortly thereafter, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, which operates 72 luxury hotels worldwide, announced in January 2012 that it would no longer serve shark fins at any of its properties.

Over the past few years, many different countries have joined the fight against the shark finning industry by banning their sale, trade, and possession. In 2011, both Guam and Chile banned shark finning in their waters. Just this week, Illinois became the fifth state in the U.S. (and the second largest) to pass a ban on shark fin products, joining Hawaii, Washington, Oregon, and California. A similar law is now under consideration in New York.

“With this public commitment, China has emerged as a leader in shark conservation and has the potential to stabilize shark populations and maintain the health of our oceans,” said Peter Knights, Executive Director of WildAid. ”A ban on all shark fin imports to China that cannot be clearly proven to be sustainably and humanely fished would be the logical next step to achieve this.”

Related Reading:

The Tide Is Turning For Sharks

Shark Extinction In Our Lifetime? [Video]

Shark Deaths Throwing Off Ocean Balance

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115 comments

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5:35PM PST on Nov 26, 2012

Its a start, thank you for info.

5:34PM PST on Nov 26, 2012

Its a start, thank you for info.

5:10PM PST on Nov 11, 2012

good step but howley mowley 2 - 3 years they are deciding to stop it. Wouldnt you think it would be stopped IMMEDIATELY? Too long in the delays and too many sharks are left alive and finless..They could step it up and take responsibility even more. But its a start. and better than nothing.

10:05AM PDT on Oct 15, 2012

Copy&paste Arild W. comment...

9:53AM PDT on Oct 15, 2012

It's a start - but I wonder how many sharks can be saved if they'd simply implement this now.
Now if they would stop consuming rhino horns, tigar parts......Another endangered species killed for and consumed in Asian countries that have no medicinal or food value what-so-ever.

11:32AM PDT on Sep 12, 2012

So sickening people do this, I know this is progress but why can't they just end it now. It is outrageously cruel and destroying the ocean's Eco-system. Murdering this poor innocent animals is destroying the oceans. Sharks are one of the oldest animals still living in the world today so why are these so called 'people' murdering them! They need to be protecting and it needs to be made illegal on a global level.

5:35AM PDT on Jul 28, 2012

OK it's a start but not an end by any means! It is simple END IT NOW!

3:11PM PDT on Jul 24, 2012

thought this was banned years ago...

3:11PM PDT on Jul 24, 2012

thought this was banned years ago...

10:00AM PDT on Jul 11, 2012

I'm with Carolyn......why do these take so long {years, really, it takes THAT LONG to remove these from the menu????} to enact????? Utterly ridiculous.......

They need to ban shark fin soup EVERYWHERE, EVERYDAY TO EVERYONE. No exceptions. Stop the madness NOW.

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