The Hong Kong government now joins the ranks of corporations such as Cathay Pacific, The Peninsula and the Shangri-La hotel group as it moves to ban shark fin-related products from the menus at official functions.
It’s a long overdue change that aims to clamp down on the abhorrent and merciless trade.
In addition to shark’s fin soup, bluefin tuna and black moss (fat choy) will also be banned.
After decades of campaigning and demonstrations, conservation groups have finally won their battle, as our government takes a firm stance against the vicious slaughter of sharks.
We need not be reminded of the pictures plastered across newspapers from merely a year ago, where thousands upon thousands of bloodied shark fins were found drying atop a factory roof.
As a student from a metropolitan and forward-thinking society, I welcome the move by the government.
While shark’s fin soup is a centrepiece in ancient Chinese tradition (and indeed my family’s traditions), consuming it also promotes a cruel and archaic practice.
Many of us have heard of the way fins are harvested, where the prized fins are brutally hacked off a shark’s torso before the body is dumped into the ocean. The impact of this practice on marine ecosystems and food chains is insurmountable.
Surely. in this modern day and age, we can move past our antiquated customs.
As we speed through our hectic lives, we tend to neglect the environment around us: we spew pollution into the air, we hurl trash into our seas and we overfish in our coastal waters.
We make these decisions without an afterthought. Yet maybe, just maybe, it’s time to change that conservative mentality.