From Ecuador to Brunei, from the Bahamas to the Maldives, the people have spoken. And governments have listened. Now is the time for Hong Kong to wake up! The public is ready. The business sector is behind us. Now is the time for a total sale and possession ban on shark fin in Hong Kong. By doing so, Hong Kong will take a giant step to join the conservation efforts of numerous countries around the world who have enacted shark protection legislation. In Latin America it will join Ecuador, Honduras, Colombia, Brazil and Chile. In the United States it will join California, New York, Hawaii, Washington, Maryland and Oregon. In the Pacific region it will join Palau, Tokelau, Marshall Islands, French Polynesia, Cook Islands, American Samoa, Guam, the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, and New Caledonia.
Banning shark fin from the streets of Hong Kong will be the single most important marine conservation achievement of the year. It will be an important step towards protecting the health of our oceans. It will also remove the stain on Hong Kong’s reputation as a world-class tourism hub.
Countries around the world have laws that ban the sale and possession of shark fin, and more than 50 Hong Kong conservation groups joined to called on the Hong Kong Government to listen and enact similar laws.
Companies like Cathay Pacific Airways, HSBC and others have banned shark fin from their operations. Also, from an authenticated recent survey, the majority of Hong Kong’s population has said no to shark fin – the environmental cost is just too high.
More than 10,200 tons of shark fin were imported into Hong Kong in 2011, and this trade has led to the direct threat of many species of sharks from around the world.
The message is clear: the time has come for the Hong Kong Government to enact laws to ban shark fin and related products from the territory.