Hong Kong is responsible for approximately 50% of the worlds shark fin imports, annually importing about 5,000 tonnes. Despite there being over 400 shark species many of which are threatened according the IUCN Red List, only 14 shark species are regulated in trade. This relies on the implementation of the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) which in turn relies on enforcement authorities’ ability to differentiate fins of regulated (listed) species from unregulated.
Only fins larger than 10 cm at the base are visually distinguishable with a high degree of confidence, and therefore, large fins are the only shark products that are commonly reported/declared by species and get routinely examined by Customs authorities worldwide. Available estimates of globally traded shark fin volumes have been based on auction records of large fins. However, containers of dried-unprocessed fins holding large numbers of sacks with tens of thousands of small fins (some of which will be juvenile fins of regulated species) (<10 cm at the base) that are rarely reported/declared by species, and for which virtually no species-specific trade data exist.
Will Hong Kong Finally Recognise Wildlife Crime as Serious and Organised?
November 19, 2020
Sophie le Clue
On November 2nd, ADMCF in conjunction with the Hong Kong University Law faculty released a white paper that outlined the rationale and mechanisms for Hong Kong to make a step change and treat wildlife crime in the city as the ...
Global Initiative to End Wildlife Crime Suggests Amendments to Wildlife Trade Laws
September 7, 2020
We are amidst a pandemic and consequent global economic crisis that show just how vulnerable we have made ourselves by ignoring how we interact with wildlife and the natural world. Despite the risks inherent in wildlife trade, ...
Global, Hong Kong
Divided Interests in Wildlife Trade Should be United over Covid-19
June 18, 2020
Sophie le Clue
Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department (C&ED) have the unenviable job of policing the flow of goods into and out of one of the world’s biggest trading hubs – Hong Kong. The city is home to one of the busiest airports ...