Hong Kong hotel group bans shark fin
One of Asia’s most prestigious hotel chains said Monday it would stop selling shark fin from January, in a move hailed as a historic breakthrough by campaigners to protect the threatened predators.
The owner of the Peninsula Hotels group said the decision was made “in recognition of the threat facing the global shark population and in line with the company’s sustainability vision.”
“The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels Ltd., parent company of The Peninsula Hotels, on Monday announced that it will stop serving shark fin at all its group operations, effective 1 January 2012,” the company said in a statement.
The company will honor banquet bookings involving shark fin products made prior to 21 November, it added. Shark fin soup is an expensive staple at wedding parties and business banquets in the Hong Kong hotel.
Peninsula operates nine hotels including in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Tokyo and New York.
Chief executive officer Clement Kwok said: “By removing shark fin from our menus, we hope that our decision can contribute to preserving the marine ecosystem for the world’s future generations. As Asia’s oldest hotel company, we also hope that our decision will inspire other hospitality companies to do the same and that our industry will play a role in helping to preserve the biodiversity of our oceans.”