There is growing public support in China for the need to protect the world's dwindling shark population, but little understanding about the connection between conservation and shark finning, according to a survey.
Shark fin, once offered as a gift to emperors, is traditionally served at Chinese wedding banquets and occasions when the host wants to impress guests with expensive and unusual dishes.
WildAid and the SSIC today launched the findings of a survey in to shark consumption habits and attitudes.
The survey report revealed that Chinese consumers have very little understanding of the negative environmental impacts associated with shark losses, while indicating mounting public support for effective shark conservation activities.
The survey, carried out between November 2005 to February 2006, produced unique in-depth information on the status of shark fin consumption, and identified public attitudes toward shark conservation in China.
Recently, two isolated incidents occurred on the island of Baltra, Galapagos Islands that warrant dissemination to the international community and must be addressed by the President of Ecuador.
On March 14th, the Ecuadorian Navy arrested two Park Wardens in Baltra who were investigating a denouncement made by PetroEcuador. A single hulled tanker was illegally transferring and selling diesel fuel to a foreign yacht in a highly sensitive area.
Chinese officials should ensure that shark's fin, swallow's nest, bear's paw, snake and other dishes that might "upset" foreigners are removed from restaurants before the 2008 Olympics, state media on Wednesday quoted a local lawmaker as saying.
"Serving shark's fin to foreign guests during the Olympic Games could greatly hurt China's image, and officials should start removing the dish from the dining tables right now," the official Xinhua News Agency quoted Xu Zhihong, a Beijing deputy to the National People's Congress, as saying.
A major Metropolitan Police initiative against the illegal sale of endangered species in London's Chinese medicine shops is launched today with the support of the Chinese community and Britain's leading wildlife charities. The new initiative will see a tough new focus on Chinese medicine practitioners selling goods that are made from, or even claim to be made from, endangered species. The launch takes place at New Scotland Yard at 11am today, and is run under the banner of Operation Charm, by the MET's Wildlife Crime Unit.