Hong Kong has seen its import of shark fin, including that which is re-exported to the mainland, fall sharply in recent years due to growing environmental consciousness among local people and the Chinese government’s anti-graft and austerity campaign, Singtao Daily reported Wednesday.
According to Hong Kong government data quoted by the local branch of the World Wide Fund (WWF) for Nature, shark fin imports last year amounted to 5,412 metric tons, down 35 percent from the 2012 level of 8,285 tons. Re-exports overall are said to have fallen 18 percent to 2,003 metric tons, with re-exports to the mainland plunging as much as 90 percent to 114,000 kilograms.
Shark fin soup used to be an important dish during wedding banquets in Hong Kong. However, an increasing number of newly weds have been abandoning that in recent years. Some shark fin traders said their sales have dived as much as 40 percent and that prices have dropped significantly.
Meanwhile, China’s anti-corruption and anti-extravagance campaign has made shark fin soup disappear from government banquets.
What’s worth noting is that data showed Vietnam has replaced mainland in the past two years and become the biggest re-export destination for Hong Kong’s shark fin, for reasons that are not entirely clear, the report said.
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