So, is Shark’s Fin Legit or Illegal in S’pore? Here’s What You Should Know

Image:SpeedEndurance.com & Wikipedia

Shark’s fin, often served in a soup, is a traditional Chinese delicacy often served in Chinese weddings and banquets.

Image: The Guardian

The ability to serve shark’s fin to your guests indicates your wealth and class.

(Editor’s note: yeah, also goes to show how uncultured a person is)

But they’re endangered (if you don’t know)

30 species of sharks and rays are subject to international trade restrictions under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

More than 70 million sharks are killed yearly worldwide, and many species are caught at “unsustainable levels”.

Image: The Super Fins

Singapore’s ranking

According to TODAYonline, Singapore is ranked as the world’s second-largest shark’s fin trader by value after Hong Kong.

We import $65 million and export $50.4 million worth of shark’s fin.

These numbers come from a report done by Traffic, a wildlife-trade monitoring network and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) last year.

A big change

Straits Times reported that about 89 local F&B outlets have plans to remove shark’s fin soup and other shark products from their menus by the end of this year.

This is the biggest collective pledge ever by the local F&B industry.

They can do it in either one of the following ways:

  • remove from menus
  • stop serving them for a trial period
  • or serve only upon request

The 89 establishments took either the first or last option.

Here are some examples:

1.Pan Pacific

The group owns 34 properties and seven restaurants globally. They chose the first option.

Since 1 Jan, all shark products have been removed from their menu.

Vice-president of F&B, Mr Golden Whitehead said: “Neither will shark’s fin be available upon request, as Pan Pacific Hotels Group will not sell, display or purchase shark’s fin or shark products anymore.”

“But we will honour wedding packages with shark’s fin if these were signed before 1st Jan.”

2.Crystal Jade

Shark’s fin soup will not be available on this year’s Chinese New Year menu.

Shark’s fin will also be completely removed from its main menus by 31st July.

It will be served only upon request.

Mr Douglas DeBoer, chief executive officer (CEO) of Crystal Jade Culinary Concepts, said: “We feel that many younger and environmentally conscious customers will appreciate and support that we have taken this big step forward.”

3.Foodpanda

As of now, 93 of some 3,800 merchants on its platform offer shark’s fin or shark products.

By next month, the items will no longer be available on the platform’s menu.

Miss Laura Kantor, Foodpanda Singapore’s head of marketing and sustainability lead, said: “This is not a decision we took lightly, because we still want to work with our merchants to offer our customers choice. But we felt this was an important initiative for us to join.”

4.Jumbo Group

The group will be offering alternatives to shark’s fin soup, such as fish maw soup with crab meat.

5.Singapore Airlines Cargo

In 2014, the group has stopped serving shark’s fin on its flights.

WWF says that most F&B establishments they reached out to take part in the pledge were already ready to make the changes.

But no, it’s not illegal to serve shark’s fin here.

There are still many more restaurants serving shark’s fin here in Singapore.

We’re not completely there yet, but we’re halfway there!

#savemyworld

Image:SpeedEndurance.com & Wikipedia
Image: Giphy

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Featured Image: SpeedEndurance.com & Wikipedia