THE FIN TRADE
The shark fin trade exists worldwide in greater and lesser forms and has a major impact on marine ecosystems. More than half the world’s shark fins go to Hong Kong and the major exporters of
shark fins are Spain, Taiwan, Indonesia, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.
SHARK FIN SOUP
Up until the 90’s, the consumption of shark fin soup was relatively low and did not pose major problems to shark populations. Things have changed. With close to 1.5 billion Chinese enjoying greater prosperity, there has been a massive increase in the consumption of shark fin soup.
This is where the problem occurs, with shark populations now under severe pressure from shark fin overfishing. Each year between 26 million and 71 million shark fins move through the Hong Kong shark fin markets.
This has been a major contributor to the degradation of shark populations which are down by a massive 90%.
WHICH PARTS OF THE SHARK ARE USED?
The sad thing about shark finning practices is that the shark is caught, its fins are cut off, and then the live finless shark is dumped back into the sea to either suffocate (sharks need to swim to breathe), bleed to death or be eaten by other predators.