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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Hong Kong activists urge restaurants to remove shark fin soup from menus

Hong Kong activists urge restaurants to remove shark fin soup from menus

Dozens of activists protested on 10 June outside the flagship restaurant of Maxim's Group in Hong Kong against the selling of shark fin soup in its restaurants’ menus.


The protesters, a number of whom were children, wore finless shark costumes splattered with red paint and chanted, “When the buying stops, the killing can too”. Photos of their demonstration were shared on Twitter.


Hong Kong is the world’s center in shark fin trade, accounting for about half of the global shark fin trade every year. The demand for shark fin soup at Chinese banquets is behind the finning of 73 million of sharks every year. Currently around a quarter of the world's shark and ray species are threatened with extinction.


While a survey in 2015 indicated that 94 percent of the respondents did not want to consume the threatened species, local restaurants have refused to take the luxurious dish off their menus. In most cases, consumers are compelled to choose the restaurants’ set menus for their wedding or festival banquets, which usually include shark fin soup. As indicated in the Hong Kong Shark Foundation’s survey, which covered 375 Chinese restaurants in the city, 98 percent had shark fin soup on their 2016 Lunar New Year menus.


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