Survey In China Highlights Support For Shark Conservation
According to this survey by WildAid and the Social Survey Institute Of China, Chinese consumers have little understanding of the negative environmental impacts of shark losses, while public support for shark conservation is mounting. The survey also produced in-depth information on the status of shark fin consumption, and identified public attitudes toward shark conservation in China.
The study’s key findings included:
- Public have little knowledge of the following: how shark fins are produced, their low nutritional value, the declining numbers of sharks worldwide, negative environmental impacts associated with shark losses, and the potentially damaging health effects of eating shark fin;
- Shark fin providers are not willing to reduce their business given its current economic benefits without the imposition of official restrictions;
- The Chinese media has done little to publicise shark conservation, and the potential negative impacts resulting from eating shark’s fins;
- There is positive public attitude towards shark conservation activities and consumers would be likely to be willing to participate in shark conservation activities if there was more public awareness and information about the concerns for conservation and environment from over-consumption available to them.
The demand for shark fin soup is at an all time high. As affluence has grown in Asia and in China in particular, so has the market for luxury goods like shark fins; a recent study estimated that the fins from between 26 and 73 million sharks are traded globally each year, while world trade in fins has nearly tripled from 4,900 metric tons in 1987 to 13,600 metric tons in 2004.