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Asia’s Oldest Hotel Group Removes Shark Fin Soup From Menus

Shark fins

Luxury hotel group The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels Ltd has announced it will stop serving shark fin at its Peninsula Hotels starting in January. According to the group, it came to the decision “in recognition of the threat facing the global shark population and in line with the company’s sustainability vision.”

All shark fin will be off the menu as of January 1, 2012, but the company has said  it will honor any banquet bookings with shark fin product made before November 21.

“By removing shark fin from our menus, we hope that our decision can contribute to preserving the marine ecosystem for the world’s future generations.” said CEO Clement Kwok.

As Asia’s oldest hotel company, currently operating nine Peninsula hotels in Hong Kong, shanghai, Tokyo, Beijing and New York, the move to ban shark fin is sure to encourage other companies to take similar measures.

Shark fin soup is a common delicacy at weddings and banquets throughout Asia, particularly in China. The soup is so popular in Hong Kong it has been dubbed “the global shark fin capital.”

Last year, the WWF launched an Alternative Shark-Free Menu Campaign, targeted at persuading Hong Kong restaurants to remove shark fin from their banquet menus and offer alternatives.

There are several other organizations who have also removed shark fin soup from their menus in response to the WWF campaign. A full list is available here.

As we’ve reported recently, shark finning is disturbingly brutal and is happening on an astonishingly large scale. Do you think this will help spark a global trend in the removal of shark fin from restaurant menus?

Image courtesy of Shawn Heinrichs for the Pew Environment Group
Hat tip to Greg Cornelius for the news.

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