From boat to bowl: Patterns and dynamics of shark fin trade in Hong Kong - implications for monitoring and management
Shark fin has long been one of the most highly demanded 'luxury seafood' in the Chinese market. From the latest available data (1998–2013), 130 countries/territories around the world were recorded as exporting shark fin to Hong Kong. Spain, Taiwan, Indonesia, UAE, Singapore and Japan made up over 50% of all of Hong Kong's shark fin imports. Comparison of Hong Kong's import data with the exporting countries/territories' FAO declarations indicates that some countries/territories are potentially consistently underreporting shark fin exports. Since 2009 Vietnam had overtaken China as the most important destination of Hong Kong's shark fin re-exports, a change that warrants further investigation. Ocean transportation was also identified as the most important transportation mode for shark fin imports into and re-exports from Hong Kong. Given the importance of Hong Kong and based on findings from this study, suggestions are made for the Hong Kong Government to tighten controls to reduce illegal trades, and eliminate loopholes so that a more comprehensive statistical representation of the shark fin trade may be captured for future analysis.