Friday, November 18, 2011
Shark Fin Soup? Not At the Peninsula Anymore
[Photo: Shark fins, a very nasty business]
Responding admirably to the controversy over the decimation of global shark populations, Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, the parent company of the Peninsula Hotels, Repulse Bay Complex and Peak Complex, says it will stop serving shark fin at all its group operations, effective January 1.
In doing so, the company is making a cultural adjustment amid worldwide environmental revulsion about so called shark-finning fishing, which involves hacking off the fins of sharks and simply discarding the rest of the fish.
Here's a Web site that exposes the ugly business of shark-finning. Its slogan: "Keep sharks in the ocean and out of the soup."
Here's another one.
After a shark's fin is hacked off, the shark is usually still alive when it is tossed back into the sea. Unable to swim, the shark slowly sinks toward the bottom where it is eaten alive by other fish.
The Peninsula company says it will honor banquet bookings involving shark fin soup made before November 21 but taking place after next January 1.
Shark-fin soup is one of those supposed delicacies favored in China and elsewhere in Asia for ceremonial dining occasions, such as weddings. It's expensive, but increasingly in demand as more Chinese become affluent.
Clement K.M. Kwok, ceo of the company, said: "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. As Asia’s oldest hotel company, we also hope that our
decision will inspire other hospitality companies to do the same and that our industry will play a role in helping to preserve the bio-diversity of our oceans.”