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
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Illustration / Joceline Kuswanto
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