The Hong Kong government today announced a ban on shark fin soup at government sponsored events, and have forbidden government employees from consuming shark fin soup at functions hosted outside of government. From the press release:
To demonstrate its commitment to the promotion of green living and sustainability, the Government pledges to adopt sustainability-conscious food consumption during official entertainment functions, which includes no consumption of shark fins.AFP has more, including reactions from environmental groups.
Bureaux and departments will also notify their hosts in advance whenever possible when functions are organised by others that government officials will not consume shark fin, bluefin tuna, black moss and their related food items. Appropriate bureaux and departments will also encourage public organisations funded by the Government to adopt similar practices.
"The announcement is particularly significant as Hong Kong is the world's largest shark fin market, representing approximately 50 percent of the global trade."
Joshua Reichert, executive vice president of the Pew Charitable Trusts
"After almost a decade of advocacy in the form of petitions, protest marches, letter writing and media campaigns, the Hong Kong government has finally seen fit to do the right thing -- for which we applaud them."
Alex Hofford, executive director of Hong Kong-based marine conservation group MyOcean
"Today's decision is another important milestone towards ending shark mortality globally."
Emma Kong, program manager at Hong Kong Shark Foundation