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Shangri-La joins fight against shark fin soup

19 january 2012, 12:45
©REUTERS/Tarmizy Harva
©REUTERS/Tarmizy Harva
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, AFP reports.

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 its "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, one of the global centres of the 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 towards environmental support," the hotel chain said in a statement.

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

The announcement came two months after another 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.

The group said the decision was made in view of the threat facing the global shark population, which scientists believe are essential to the overall health of marine life.

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

The campaign has also received a boost in Singapore, after French retail giant Carrefour and Singapore's largest supermarket chain NTUC FairPrice said they would halt sales of shark fin products in the city-state.

Singapore is the second-largest shark fin trading centre, according to WWF.

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