Shark group lists biggest killers

Local | Sum Lok-kei 1 Jun 2017

Shark fins are still being served in more than 20 Chinese restaurant chains, and Ming Garden and King Group are the biggest shark killers, says the Hong Kong Shark Foundation.

During the past three months, the concern group sent its staff to visit about 70 restaurants operated by 23 companies and found that two types of fins - "Hai Fu" and "Wu Yang", which the group said are harvested from endangered shark species - were commonly sold.

"Hai Fu" is taken from dusky shark, which is listed as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's red list, said the group's head of campaign, Prentice Koo Wai-muk.

"Wu Yang" fins come from silky sharks, which will come under an international trade regulation, CITES, from October.

During the restaurant visits, the group checked the main menus, seasonal menus and wedding banquet menus to find out if dishes made with shark fins were sold. They also observed sales tactics related to shark fin dishes: for example, if discounts were offered or the waiters encouraged diners to order those dishes.

The group ranked Ming Garden and King Group as the worst shark killers as they listed dishes with shark fin on all types of menu. The two restaurant chains also offered discounts, presented promotion material and persuaded costumers to order shark fin dishes, the group said.

But not all restaurants were shark killers, it was found. Some offered alternatives to shark fins in dishes - for example, bird's nest - while others did not sell shark fin items at all.

Koo said the list will be available on the group's website.

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