Hong Kong is the last stronghold for critically endangered species such as the golden coin turtle; losing them is tantamount to a global extinction. It’s time for stiffer enforcement and penalties.
The addition of more shark species under CITES protection has closed an enforcement loophole, making it easier to protect the species most at risk. Hong Kong must allocate more resources for enforcement, improve its skill in species identification, and brace for an increase in the illegal trade.
Recently, we have been hearing persistent claims of declining shark fin imports into Hong Kong. But many of the reports - both in local and international media - have been guilty of peddling misinformation, which has created confusion around the real issue.