Shangri-La joins shark fin fight

2012-01-18 12:26
Hong Kong - Luxury hotel chain Shangri-La has announced it will stop serving shark fin at its 72 properties worldwide, as the campaign to protect the marine predators gains ground among Chinese consumers.

The Hong Kong-based group said it would cease serving shark fin in all of its restaurants as well as accepting new orders for shark fin products in banqueting with immediate effect, under a "sustainable seafood policy".

Shark fin soup is viewed by many Asians as a rare delicacy and is traditionally served at wedding parties and business banquets in Hong Kong, which handles around 50% of the global shark fin trade.

Shangri-La said it would also phase out Bluefin tuna and Chilean sea bass, which are under the threat of extinction, at all restaurants within the year.

"The new policy is a continuation of Shangri-La's journey toward environmental support," the hotel chain said in a statement late on Tuesday.

"Shangri-La will continue to review and refine its overall programmes including environmental and sustainability issues."

Demand

The announcement came two months after Hong Kong-based Peninsula Hotels group said it would stop selling shark fin from this year, in a move hailed as a breakthrough for shark conservation.

Peninsula said the decision was made in view of the threat facing the global shark population, which scientists believe is essential to the overall health of the seas.

Shangri-La's move also comes just before Chinese New Year which falls on Monday, when shark fin will be in higher than normal demand for festive banquets throughout Asia.

About 73 million sharks are killed every year, with Hong Kong importing about 10 000 tons annually for the past decade, according to environmental group WWF.

More than 180 shark species were considered threatened in 2010, compared to only 15 in 1996.

WWF Hong Kong conservation programme officer Silvy Pun said the hotels were responding to falling demand for shark meat.

"Obviously this is a very positive development. The hotels are contributing to shark conservation, they are leading the catering sector in Hong Kong to change," she said.

"Their action reflects the market is changing and the falling demand for shark fin products. We are making a big step here so I urge other businesses to follow suit."

The campaign has also received a boost in Singapore, after French retail giant Carrefour and the mainly ethnic Chinese city state's largest supermarket chain, NTUC FairPrice, said this month they would no longer stock shark fin.

"More and more young couples have decided not to have shark fin on their wedding banquet menu," Hong Kong marine conservation group Bloom project co-ordinator Stanley Shea said.

Other international hotel groups which continue to sell shark fin soup include Four Seasons, Hilton, Nikko and Regal, citing the traditional aspect of the expensive dish to Chinese customers.

But a Bloom survey last year showed that some 78% of Hong Kong respondents considered it socially acceptable to leave shark fin soup off the menu at a wedding banquet.
Read more on:    marine life

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

linking and moving

2015-04-22 07:36

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
7 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.