Singapore retailer says ‘no’ shark fin
By SeafoodSource staff
30 September, 2011
Singapore supermarket chain Cold Storage will no longer sell shark fin and shark products at its 42 outlets across the country, the World Wildlife Fund announced on Friday.
It’s Singapore’s first supermarket chain to adopt a “no shark fin” policy, according to the WWF, adding that the retailer has joined the WWF Singapore Sustainable Seafood Group to help it better source and promote sustainable seafood. (Sodexo Singapore and Fairmont Singapore are also members.)
“We want to play our part toward caring for the environment. Our team is committed to sourcing for quality, sustainable seafood and other products in our efforts to achieve long-term sustainability and marine conservation,” said Cold Storage CEO Victor Chia.
Traditionally served in soups, shark fin is a staple of high-class banquets and weddings throughout much of the Asia-Pacific region, especially in China. Though pricier than many seafood items, it’s becoming more affordable as the middle class there becomes more affluent. However, shark fin is becoming an increasingly controversial product, because millions of sharks are harvested each year just for their fins, and their bodies dumped overboard and left to die, say conservationists.
Earlier this month, the California Senate passed legislation that would ban the trade, sale and possession of shark fins, becoming the fourth U.S. state to do so; Hawaii, Oregon and Washington are the others. And just last week, Mexico announced plans to ban shark and stingray fishing starting next year.
“WWF is happy to support Cold Storage in its efforts to make its retail operations more sustainable and promote responsible consumption in Singapore,” added Amy Ho, managing director of WWF Singapore. “For a nation where seafood is a popular meal choice, Cold Storage’s commitment offers consumers an opportunity to make choices that will protect fish stocks and endangered marine species over the long term.”
Cold Storage is a subsidiary of Dairy Farm, which operates more than 5,300 outlets and employs some 80,000 people in the Asia-Pacific region.
30 September, 2011