Is shark’s fin illegal in Singapore?
Shark’s fin, often served in a soup, is a traditional Chinese delicacy often served in Chinese weddings and banquets. The ability to serve shark’s fin to your guests indicates your wealth and class. But is it illegal, and why is shark finning bad?
Why is Shark Finning Bad?
The reason is simple: they’re endangered.
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”.
Then Is Shark’s Fin Illegal in Singapore?
The short answer? No.
In fact, 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
But good news: about 89 local F&B outlets have plans to remove shark’s fin soup and other shark products from their menus.
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:
The group owns 34 properties and seven restaurants globally. They chose the first option.
Since 1 Jan 2018, 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.”
Shark’s fin has been completely removed from its main menus by 31 July 2018.
However, 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.”
Shark’s fin or shark products 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.”
The group will be offering alternatives to shark’s fin soup, such as fish maw soup with crab meat.
Singapore Airlines Cargo
The group has stopped serving shark’s fin on its flights since 2014
WWF says that most F&B establishments they reached out to take part in the pledge were already ready to make the changes.
But still, remember: 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!