Fishing pressure on threatened shark populations has increased dramatically in recent years and it is urgent that consumers reject shark fin products altogether — a study in Marine Policy by researchers from the Swire Institute of Marine Science (SWIMS), School of Biological Sciences, University of Hong Kong (HKU), the Sea Around Us initiative at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and WildAid Hong Kong reveals.
“Data suggest that global shark catches now exceed one million tonnes per year, more than double what they were six decades ago. This overexploitation now threatens almost 60% of shark species, the highest proportion among all vertebrate groups.” said HKU School of Biological Sciences Professor Yvonne Sadovy, lead author of the study.
“Hong Kong is the port of entry for about half of all officially traded dried shark fins globally, importing around 6,000 tonnes per year in recent years.” Professor Sadovy explained. A 2017 study showed that 33% of shark fins found on sale in Hong Kong’s dried seafood stores were from species listed as Threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
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