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Hong Kong Gov’t Issues Bluefin Tuna And Shark Fin Ban China, September 17, 13

The Hong Kong government has announced that it will stop the serving of shark fins and bluefin tuna at official functions. Hong Kong is often named as “shark fin capital” as it handles about half of the global trade in shark fin every year.

According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), which has applauded the decision, high demand for shark fins has led to some species falling dramatically in numbers by up to 60-70 percent.
Hong Kong is one of the world’s biggest markets for shark fin. In an official statement the government said it would urge other government-funded bodies to do the same and implement a similar ban.
Gavin Edwards, Conservation Director of WWF-Hong Kong said: “Currently in the market we have no way to know what species of sharks are involved in the shark fin trade and we may unknowingly consume a lot of endangered species. The government’s commitment to ban shark fin from their dining tables is an excellent opportunity to improve transparency of the trade and monitoring of shark and bluefin tuna.”
According to WWF, up to 73 million sharks are killed each year to satisfy high demand, and 74 species are listed as threatened. Also, in over four decades, Atlantic bluefin tuna has declined by at least 51 percent and Southern bluefin adult fish has experienced an 85 percent decline.
Currently 154 corporates in Hong Kong have pledged not to consume shark fin and 115 catering businesses have vowed to provide shark-free menus.