[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 9 June 2005, 10:31 GMT 11:31 UK
HK Disney answers soup critics
By Chris Hogg
BBC, Hong Kong

A worker shovels shark fins at a warehouse in Hong Kong, 23 May 2005.
Hong Kong and China are the biggest markets for shark's fins
Disneyland Hong Kong has responded to criticism from environmentalists of its plans to serve shark's fin soup at a new theme park opening later this year.

Disney said it would hand out leaflets to people booking banquets, explaining the cruelty of shark fishing.

Disney has resisted calls to drop the luxury dish from its menus because of the damage done to shark populations by intensive farming methods.

It has now also pledged to buy shark's fins from responsible suppliers.

Environmentalists across the world have been lobbying Disney to drop shark's fin soup from the menu for banquets and weddings at its new theme-park in Hong Kong.

The company has defended its decision, insisting it is appropriate to serve the dish in a part of the world where it is considered a delicacy and a sign of affluence.

Choice of soup

Now though it has offered a compromise.

Those booking a special event who want shark's fin soup to be served will be given a leaflet setting out environmentalists' concerns about the culling of sharks for their fins.

"When people come to us to plan menus for special events we will offer them many choices of soup. If they insist on shark's fin soup we will give them a leaflet to help them to make an informed choice," according to Disney spokeswoman Irene Chan.

The company also says it will only buy fins from suppliers who guarantee the shark was caught under internationally accepted fishing methods.

Disney insisted it has already found a company which can satisfy the rigorous standards it requires to try to satisfy its critics.

But Hong Kong environmentalist Brian Darvell criticised the company's compromise as "cynical".

"They are promoting shark's fin soup by having it on the menu. It is absurd to think that this inconsistency will cut any ice anywhere," he said.

Shark fins land HK Disney in soup
24 May 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Disney appeals to China's youth
23 Sep 04 |  Business
Taking the shark out of soup
27 Aug 02 |  Science/Nature

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific