I've just read that the mainland is planning to ban shark's fin soup from being served at official banquets. While many people believe the dish is a symbol of wealth, it requires the killing of millions of sharks each year.
The creatures are often butchered in cruel ways. Their fins are cut off and the sharks are thrown back into the ocean to die.
Some environmentally conscious young people don't serve shark's fin soup at their wedding banquets, but unfortunately, they are still in the minority.
It's good to hear that there will be legislation against it, and I believe this will reduce the consumption of shark fins. However, no one can guarantee restaurants won't serve the soup secretly. So Beijing must continue to raise awareness of the issue through education programmes. The government should urge citizens to reject the dish.
I look forward to the day when shark fins have completely vanished from our dining tables and these wonderful creatures live happily in the ocean.
From the Editor
Eric Ho Chor-ting, STFA Tam Pak Yu College
Thank you for your letter, Eric. It seems too early to bring out the party streamers yet to celebrate this announcement. Apparently, it will take three years to phase in the ban. So much damage can be done in three years that the shark population might never recover. It is a sad thought indeed.
Hong Kong itself has not managed to get this item off menus, and it is time it did so. If we care about sharks and the environment, we should never support those restaurants which serve the dish. It's not just a matter of not eating it ourselves, but actively choosing not to sit down at a place that supports the industry. Perhaps then people will begin to understand that we are serious about this important issue.