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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 May, 2005, 06:24 GMT 07:24 UK
Shark fins land HK Disney in soup
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
Activists in Hong Kong are threatening to boycott entertainment giant Disney after it announced plans to serve shark's fin soup at a new theme park.

Hong Kong Disneyland, which opens in September, will serve the soup at wedding banquets and special events.

But campaigners say millions of sharks are killed each year for their fins, driving some species close to extinction.

Disney says it is simply being respectful to local culture.

It is traditional in Chinese society to offer the clear, glutinous broth on important occasions.

Tasteless

The fin itself is almost tasteless, but in southern China it is regarded as a luxury.

Surveys in Hong Kong suggest four out of 10 people eat it regularly and two-thirds think it is justified to kill sharks for their fins.

But environmental groups such as Greenpeace and the Worldwide Fund for Nature warn the shark is one of the most over-exploited species on earth.

They are urging Disney to take the soup off its menu and to do more to help to educate the public about the issue.

Disney has rejected the complaints, claiming the dish is an integral part of any Chinese banquet.

The company says it takes environmental stewardship very seriously.

The activists, though, are threatening to mount a global boycott of the brand if Disney insists on serving shark's fin soup.


SEE ALSO:
Disney appeals to China's youth
23 Sep 04 |  Business
Taking the shark out of soup
27 Aug 02 |  Science/Nature


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