Sharks perform an incredibly important role in our oceans’ ecosystems. In order to protect this important species, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts stopped serving shark fin in 2012 as part of the group’s Sustainable Seafood Policy. To commemorate Shark Awareness Day on July 14, we’d like to explain why we took this course of action.
Shark species around the world are in rapid decline due to overfishing, bycatch, pirate fishing and sharks’ slow maturation and low reproduction numbers. According to the World Wildlife Fund, the growing trade in shark fins has become a serious threat to many shark species. Recent research suggests that about 100 million sharks may be killed annually due to shark finning.
Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts initiated the first phase of our Sustainable Seafood Policy by taking shark fin off all managed restaurant’s menus in December 2010. On January 17, 2012, the group ceased accepting orders and future bookings for shark fin products, including fresh, frozen and canned products, in all group-operated restaurants and banqueting events.
All Shangri-La hotels and resorts have alternative dishes for those that once contained shark fin, especially soup. Since 2012, guests have been able to enjoy these alternative dishes, including: mandarin duck soup double-boiled with fish maw and matsutake mushroom; abalone soup double-boiled with caterpillar fungus flower and yam; and sea cucumber soup double-boiled with pork shank. Alternative ingredients also include bamboo fungus, lotus seeds, lily bulbs, shimeiji mushrooms, snow fungus, American ginseng and sea whelks.