China is planning to ban shark fin soup from being served at official banquets, in a sign the country may be losing its taste for the expensive delicacy.
According to Chinese media, the Government Office Administration of the State Council said the ban could take up to three years to implement and would help cut the cost of sometimes lavish banquets held for state functions.
The move followed a proposal made during the National People's Congress in March this year.
Bertha Lo of the campaign group Hong Kong Shark Foundation said the move could potentially reduce the amount of sharks killed given that China is the biggest consumer of shark fin products.
Read - China plans banquet ban on shark fin
That the Government of China intends to rationalise public expenditure on official banquets within three years, by reducing expenditure on luxury foods, is a welcomed development. Banquets are an important aspect of cultural hospitality, but they rarely need to be extravagant and overly expensive to achieve their goal. For the marine products industry, it may well mean that some luxury items may be excluded from future menus, but it does not mean, It is about saving money. Shark's fins comes in many different grades and qualities, and some of the lower priced fins come from shark fisheries such as Canada and Australia, certified as being sustainable. Hence money can be wisely saved without losing the traditional option of serving sharks fin at official banquets.
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