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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Thais' hunger for shark fin soup is leading to the animal's population decline


BANGKOK — More than half of Thais have eaten shark fin soup and plan to continue consuming the Asian delicacy in the future despite an "alarming" decline in the shark population, a wildlife group said on Tuesday.

A report released by WildAid, a U.S.-based conservation group, says that 100 million sharks are killed worldwide each year. Of that number, 73 million ended up in shark fin soup, leading to as much as a 98 percent decline in the global shark population since 2002.

In response to a high demand for the dish in Asia due to beliefs in its health benefits and association to social status, sharks have been caught solely to have their fins cut off, and dumped back into the sea. Without their fins, the animal was left to die.

According to WildAid's report titled "Shark Fin Demand in Thailand," Thailand is the world's biggest shark fin exporter, with more than 22,467 tonnes exported from the South-East Asian country between 2012 to 2016.

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