Sharks play a crucial role in marine ecosystems, and are threatened by unsustainable fishing. Fins from an estimated 73 million sharks are used in shark fin soup each year. It is likely that the count is much higher, since reporting from commercial fisheries is imperfect and illegal and unreported fishing is not accounted for in these estimates. Consumption of this luxury dish has led to overfishing of many vulnerable shark species, as well as to the inhumane practice of finning.
OPS is involved in a variety of partner initiatives aimed at reducing consumer demand for shark and ray products. OPS collaborator WildAid is campaigning to reduce shark fin consumption in China, Hong Kong and Thailand, and to secure further restrictions to the global shark fin trade.
With partners such as WildAid, Shark Guardian, and Oceana, we continue our global campaigns to petition international distribution companies and airlines to stop shipping shark fins and other shark products, as we continue our national campaigns to prohibit the trade in shark products in the United States. Fed Ex continues to allow the shipment of shark fins and other products worldwide, but UPS, Cathay Pacific, and Air China have ended this unfortunate practice.
OPS is also continuing our campaign work to encourage restaurants and retailers from selling shark fin soup and other shark products. Maxims, Hong Kong’s largest restaurant group with over 50 outlets in the city recently announced it would stop serving shark fin soup from January 2020. Unfortunately, companies like Groupon still haven’t received the message and continue to sell shark products.
Learn more about our shark campaign work.