As of November 2011, The Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong has adopted a policy to exclude shark fin from all Chamber dining parties, functions and banquets. The shark fin ban is aligned with The Chamber’s commitment to environmental sustainability and with recent decisions from the Canadian cities of Toronto, Mississauga, Brantford and Oakville to ban shark fin.
If you are wondering why shark fin concerns are making big waves, consider that:
– Consumption of shark fin soup is a key driver for an estimated 90% decline in some shark populations. According to the globally-recognized International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), out of the 256 shark species where there is sufficient data to determine conservation status, 56% are at risk of extinction – that’s 143 species!
– 50% the world’s shark fin passes through Hong Kong for consumption or re-export.
– Although Hong Kong is a signatory to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, shark fin trade in Hong Kong is largely unregulated.
– Rapidly declining shark populations due to overfishing and habitat destruction also seriously endangers the health of our oceans, as sharks are fundamental to maintaining the balance of the marine ecosystem.
The next 18 months are critical if shark conservation efforts in Hong Kong are to build on global efforts to stem dramatic declines and to save several shark species from extinction. As the first international chamber in Hong Kong to ban shark fin, CanCham hopes that other chambers, business associations, companies, hotels and catering groups and government organizations will soon adopt similar policies.
Refer to the enclosed CanCham policy to ban shark fin for further details. Or find out more at www.hksharkfoundation.org
CanCham members and friends can take action by signing the WWF pledge to say NO to shark fin: http://www.wwf.org.hk/en/whatwedo/footprint/seafood/sharkfin_initiative/companies_say_no_to_shark_fin/
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong