‘Shark fin for shark only’: Hong Kong protesters in shark costumes march against fin soup (VIDEO)
A group of adults and children wearing shark costumes with ‘bleeding’ holes on their backs, marched to Maxim’s Palace, one of the most popular restaurants in the city Saturday.
Young activists were holding banners reading “Maxim’s, stop selling endangered shark fin upon request” and chanting slogans in English and Cantonese.
“Shark finning is a very cruel thing that lots of people do, and we’re trying to stop a chain of restaurants from selling it,” 11-year-old Narnie Hockings told AFP.
Protesters tried to enter the restaurant, but were not let in by police. In response, activists dumped fake shark fins at Maxim’s entrance, then plopped on the floor in protest.
“The display is to show people how bad it is and what people do in real life because I don’t think people know that they actually chuck the bodies back into the water,” 12-year-old Meara Johnson said.
Conservation group WildAid, which organized the protest, claims the restaurant offers dishes from endangered or near-threatened shark species, adding that “the selling of ANY kind of shark is not only cruel, unethical, immoral, often illegal, but it's also UNSUSTAINABLE.”
The restaurant denied the allegations, saying it only sells shark fin soup from species at low risk. It added that it started to promote a shark-free menu seven years ago.
According to WildAid’s program, Shark Savers, up to 73 million sharks are killed each year for their fins, with Hong Kong at the center of the shark fin trade.
As pressure from conservation groups grows, the Hong Kong government has stopped serving the traditional delicacy at official events to give “a good example.”