Is consumption of shark fin sustainable?

by Kathy Xu

As the Lunar New Year comes around the corner, family reunion feasts increase at hotels and restaurants. The question of whether to include luxury dishes, like shark fin soup, surface again in parts of Asia with a predominantly Chinese population.

Is it wrong to include shark fin soup on the menu in this festive season? Many impassioned conservationists may jump at the question with a resounding “of course!” But maybe it is time to talk about shark consumption sustainability and consider the bigger picture.

Why focus only on fins?
How much of shark catch is of endangered species?
The less-known wedgefish

Wedgefishes are close relatives of sharks, and are highly sought after for their fins as well

So, is shark fishing sustainable?

The Atlantic Spiny Dogfish is a shark species known to be sustainably managed

There are other considerations
Disclaimer: Our stories have been researched and fact-checked to the best of our abilities. Should you spot mistakes, inaccuracies, or have queries about our sources, please drop us an e-mail at hello@kontinentalist.com
Kathy Xu / Writer

Kathy used to write marine and environmental stories at Kontinentalist. She was history-trained but does other things now instead, like running an ecotourism shark conservation business, The Dorsal Effect. When free, she enjoys being in the ocean, trying to spot some sharks or just home cuddling with her cavvie, Danea.

Illustration / Joceline Kuswanto
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