Attitudes to shark's fin changing: survey

PUBLISHED : Monday, 24 June, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 24 June, 2013, 5:33am

Most people come across shark's fin at wedding banquets, but would happily eat something else, a survey has found.

"We've banned shark's fin from our functions since 2007," said Deacon Wong, chairman of the Save Sharks project under the Junior Chamber International. The training group polled 1,022 people for the survey between May 10 and June 14 this year. It was not a randomly generated sample, meaning a sampling bias could have been introduced.

A more robust survey will be carried out in the next six months, using the same methodology as a Hong Kong University survey in 2011, said Jerry McLean, director of the Hong Kong Shark Foundation, which plans to submit a petition to the Hong Kong government to ban the use of shark products at official functions. Beijing last year banned shark's fin at official events.

And more companies are following suit at a time when the finning trade sees 100 million sharks pulled from the ocean every year, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation. Two South Korean carriers - Korean Air and Asiana - last week said they had asked the International Air Transport Association to ban the carriage of shark products.

The latest survey results and those from 2011 appear to show a shift in where shark's fin is consumed. The 2011 survey showed 30 per cent was at weddings, 19 per cent at birthday celebrations for grandparents, 12 per cent at new year, and 10 per cent at work events. The latest survey showed 84 per cent at weddings, 5 per cent at celebrations for grandparents, 1 per cent for new year, and 4 per cent at work events. And 93 per cent of those polled would consider replacing shark's fin with other dishes at a function. In 2011, it was 43 per cent.