Page last updated at 11:59 GMT, Saturday, 25 June 2005 12:59 UK

HK Disney scraps shark's fin soup

By Chris Hogg
BBC, Hong Kong

A worker shovels shark fins at a warehouse in Hong Kong, 23 May 2005.
Environmentalists say methods of collecting fins are cruel

Disney is withdrawing plans to serve shark's fin soup at its new theme park due to open in September in Hong Kong.

The company had resisted pressure from environmentalists who argued that Disney would be contributing to the sharp decline in shark populations.

But Disney announced the change on Saturday saying it was unable to find ecologically sound suppliers.

It is a U-turn from a company that had insisted on serving shark's fin soup out of sensitivity to local customs.

Barrage of complaints

Disney had planned to offer the expensive dish at banquets and special events.

But that decision exposed the company to a barrage of complaints from environmentalists around the world.

They say the mass harvesting of the gelatinous cartilage for the soup has led to a marked decline in shark stocks.

And they say it is cruel - in particular the process known as finning, where a fin is hacked off and the shark thrown back into the sea to die.

Disney tried to broker a compromise, offering to buy only from suppliers who could prove their ecological credentials.

Now, though, the company has admitted defeat.

It says it has been unable to find an environmentally sustainable fishing source.

Environmental groups have given the decision a warm welcome.

HK Disney answers soup critics
09 Jun 05 |  Asia-Pacific
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

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