According to a WWF Hong Kong survey, the volume of shark fins served in restaurants dropped nearly 50% year on year to 161kg in 2013.
The poll of the 35 restaurants was carried out between April and September by the conservation group. It found that the volume dropped steadily from 337kg in 2011 to 306 kg in 2012 with the figure reaching it’s current low of 161kg last year.
However, while this is great news, a separate survey of 85 restaurants found that almost every banquet caterer in the survey was still offering shark fin soup as an option. It is thought that despite clear declines in demand for shark fin soup, companies are reluctant to remove the traditional dish entirely for fear of criticism.
Imports of shark fins are threatening the survival of several shark species.
While the sale of shark fins is not illegal in Hong Kong, the government last year banned their consumption at official functions, following a similar ban on the mainland.
A sharp decline in the consumption of shark fin, and in exports from Hong Kong to the mainland, has been attributed to President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign, which has seen lavish banquets become taboo.
Several regional airlines have also refused to accept shark fin as cargo after campaigns by green groups including WWF.