Shark protection advocates gather in Hong Kong. An estimated 73 million sharks are killed each year for use in shark fin dishes in China. (Photo/Xinhua)
Nearly all of Beijing's "green hotels" continue to sell shark fin to their customers despite calls from advocacy groups to stop the practice, reports the Beijing Times.
Shark fins have little nutritional value and are eaten mostly because of their status as a delicacy. The media as well as environmental and animal rights groups have urged hotels to stop selling shark fin. According to the report, about 73 million sharks are killed each year — almost all on account of the trade in their fins — and nearly one-third of the world's shark species are on the brink of extinction.
Zhang Yue, an anchor from state-run broadcaster China Central Television, said people in China eat shark fin not because they are hungry but simply to show off their wealth. Nobody cares about the suffering of sharks after their fins are taken away, said Zhang.
Zhang Xingsheng, managing director of North Asia for the US-based Nature Conservancy, stated that eating shark fin is a tradition that should be abolished. As a strong advocate of shark protection, he has welcomed people in China people to join his "Zero Shark Fin Spring Festival" movement.
A total of 124 four- and five-star "green hotels" were investigated in the Beijing area, but only one was found not selling shark fin.