Hong Kong handles at least 50% and maybe even up to 80% of the world trade in shark fin. Shark finning is a disgusting practice, only removing a shark's fins and then discarding the rest of the shark's body back into the sea. It's extremely wasteful and cruel...
One cannot imagine the amount of pain and bleeding these sharks go through after their fins are ripped off.
The city probably being the largest global handler of shark fins must put an end to this cruel practice. A number of local businesses have already voluntarily commited themselves in a growing movement that's gaining support locally towards stopping the serving of shark fin, including more notable organisations such as the prestigious Pennisula Hotel (one of the world's finest) in 2012, the Bank of China (Hong Kong) in 2011 and Hong Kong Disneyland in 2005. More recently, Cathay Pacific Airways, the home airline of Hong Kong, announced that they will be banning the shipping of shark fin on all their flights (previously amounting to about 300 tonnes/year), unless it is certified as 'sustainable'. This is an excellent move and they have stayed strong to their word despite strong opposition from the local shark fin trade - but we still need a blanket ban.
A complete and up-to-date list of corporate supporters of WWF (Hong Kong)'s 'Shark Fin Initiative' can be found here (sadly the number stands at only slightly above 100).
Traditions, especially those of Chinese wedding banquets, are unlikely to be affected. Imitation shark's fin is just as tasty (I would even arguably say that it's better for one's health - as it contains no mercury - and the planet of course) and most people won't notice a difference in terms of texture. It is said by many that the consumption of shark's fin has been a long-standing Chinese tradition but in fact the practice had only started about 50 years ago. This 'tradition' is a result of marketing efforts over the past few decades and is not a genuine cultural tradition.
Bring an end to this cruel practice and Save Our Sharks (SOS). People's appetites need to change along with changing times... for good.
Dear Chief Executive,
I am writing to ask that you use your power to stop the shark fin trade in Hong Kong for once and for all.
[Your comments here (as applicable)]
Hong Kong currently handles 50-80% of the world trade in shark fin. As such, the city is probably the largest handler globally of this so-called 'delicacy'.
It is necessary, in view of how cruel and wasteful shark finning is, to discourage the practice by banning it completely for sale and as food in banquets in all of Hong Kong. A blanket ban is absolutely necessary as a voluntary pledge by corporations is while a good start, certainly not effective enough. And we must act quickly.
Times change, and Hongkongers must too change our appetites.