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Green survey shows shark fins on the menu

5 August 2011
Green survey shows shark fins on the menu

New Zealand is lagging behind many other countries in dealing with the unsustainable practice of shark-finning, Green Party Oceans spokesperson Gareth Hughes said today.

The Green Party has conducted an extensive nationwide survey that showed around one third of Chinese restaurants in New Zealand were willing to sell shark fin soup with no concern for how their ingredients had been caught.

"Many restaurants, particularly in the Auckland region were unaware of the environmental issues surrounding shark finning or didn’t care,” said Mr Hughes.

“Shark finning the practice of killing a shark, cutting off its fins, and discarding the carcass back to sea is still legal in New Zealand, unlike the US, EU and Australia” said Mr Hughes.

Shark fin soup is a Chinese delicacy that drives the market for shark fins. In Auckland, a bowl of the soup can cost up to $180. Worldwide, 73 million sharks are slaughtered annually for their fins alone, which is completely unsustainable.

“The Green Party is calling on the Government to support the call by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and United Nations General Assembly for New Zealand to introduce a ‘fins naturally attached’ approach to shark regulation.

“This would require vessels to keep the whole shark, rather than discarding carcasses at sea.

"I urge consumers to use their consumer power and not eat or make shark fin soup and avoid restaurants that still serve it.”

Link to survey results: http://www.greens.org.nz/factsheets/shark-fin-soup-survey-use-your-consumer-power-and-avoid-shark-fin-soup

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