China is banning shark finning! Huge step in the Right Direction

China is banning shark finning! Huge step in the Right Direction

Chinese shark fin soup

Dustin Dennis

The biggest importer and consumer of sharks are now banning shark fin soup!

This Might be The Best News All Year! 

China’s government has, according to the Chinese news agency Xinhua, made a list of 420 endangered species that is no longer legal to consume, import or sell.

And among the animals on the list are sharks.

The punishment for breaking this new ban will be up to 10 years in prison. If this is uphold it would have a big effect for the fast decreasing shark population.

We, here at DIVE.in, have not yet seen the list and can therefore not confirm if the ban covers all sharks or if it’s only a few individual sharks.

Why is it so important to stop shark finning?

The last couple of years we’ve seen a dramatic decrease in the shark population. Many areas before known for shark dives have long been “out of business” shark wise. The demand of sharks fin has been so high that our ocean now is nearly emptied for sharks.

Organizations like Shark Savers has been fighting a long and hard battle against a booming shark fin industry, but now it looks like there’s light at the ned of the tunnel.

What is Shark fin soup

Shark fin soup is a delicacy in some Asian countries, and is eaten in large amounts in China. As the fins are a very small part of the shark the fishermen’s, to save space, cuts off the fins and drops the shark body back in the ocean.

Here you can read more about what shark fin soup is.

Will this solve the problem?

Hainaultphoto

Hainaultphoto

It’s hard to know what will happen now. This is definitely a step in the right direction, and hopefully we’ll still have sharks in our oceans in ten years.

Do you know anything about the Chinese shark ban? We are looking for more updates and angels on this story, so if you know anything tell us in a comment or email me at [email protected]

Until we know more show your support at #SayNoToSharksFin or #imFINished

About The Author

Torben Lonne

Torben is a top skilled PADI MSDT instructor. He has worked several years with scuba diving in Indonesia and Thailand - and dived most of his life in most of the world.He is also the co-founder and chief-editor of DIVE.in you can always catch him here [email protected]

18 Comments

  1. Kim Grats

    This is great news for our oceans!

    Reply
    • Torben Lonne

      It’s really great, let’s just hope they’ll uphold the law.

  2. Alex Parker Long

    Well this is the good news of the day. Thanks.

    Still there’s far from a law to stopping a widespread behavior. And China is only one among many(might be big but..).

    We still have a long struggling fight to save our sharks and our oceans.

    Reply
    • Kim Grats

      You are completely right, we still have long way to go before the sharks are saved.

      Still the right direction from China. And not just for sharks but for the 420 species.

    • Torben Lonne

      Still a long way, but a step the right way, I agree Kim. and also for the other 419 land based species they made illegal as well.

  3. Gary Bridger

    Any sharks or endangered fish Should be town back un harmed. Any sporing fish need to be put back. , they may have stopped shark finning, but for sure they have not stopped them catching them, What happens after that?

    Reply
    • Torben Lonne

      I could not agree more Gary! No it’s far from over, and I’m sure it will still continue (also in China) but hopefully in a much smaller scale.

      This is just a sign that we are moving in the right direction. We can only guess what happens now, there’s still a big shark fishing industry, and they’ll sure not stop without a fight.

      Hopefully if demand stops, the killing stops or slows dramatically.

  4. David McGuire

    Lets not claim victiory until the real fight is won. This doesnt make shark finning illegal or shark fin soup- just the trade of some shark fins from illegal fisheries or on a protected list – which have to be identified and enforced. Its a good start

    Reply
    • Torben Lonne

      You are right David, it’s only a small battle, and far from a won war. Still it’s the right direction. And it shows that the Chinese government cares, at least a tiny bit.

  5. Donna Carlson

    I am seriously trying to start supporting ocean health. Bio hazards like plastics and other trash which is eaten by fish and birds and is growing more widespread in five ocean currents. Huge non bio degradable patches which must be cleaned up and recycled before it is impossible to do so. However, I really want accurate information. When you make a broad statement implying the Ocean is almost out of sharks, that one I need stats on. I am not saying eating fin soup is good. I am not saying anything at all on that subject but rather ask that you please provide us with accurate and backed up with references statistics. Is it a particular kind of shark or just in one area or are you suggesting the world wide shark population overall is endangered to the point of extinction? This will help all of us get the word out more accurately. The one thing I really want for us ALL to do us to work together by making sure we have accurate and precise referenced info from good sources so that we can all concentrate on the absolute top priorities for our waterways and oceans and beaches. Right now I do believe that clean ups of all waterways and oceans are paramount to keeping wildlife healthy and providing clean water. I believe our coral wreaths must be made healthier and be protected and that those species of Ocean and all water animals must be preserved as well as utilized properly not over fished or harassed or abused and used for inappropriate things like killing al the whales for eggs or seal pups for fur. If this one type of shark is endangered then we do need to get the word out but please provide us ALL with more information so that we can really help each other in cooperating to reach the same goals. We need more people getting their hands dirty for our Oceans and we MUST concentrate on essential stats to make this happen. I hope more people will start volunteering to do everything from research like this to beach cleanups so our birds stop starving to death from eating plastic and huge ocean garbage dump cleanups so our turtles no longer look like a figure 8 with soda ties around their middles. Like the rain forest, we can’t live without healthy water ways, salt and fresh! Thank you! I hope we get another report on this very soon with more info!

    Reply
    • Torben Lonne

      Hi Donna,

      I don’ have exact numbers of all sharks, and some species may not be close to extension, but in general the shark population has seen a 98% decline over that last 15 years.
      I cant say which problem is more concerning the pollution or over fishing, but I’m sure if we don’t do something now there wont be any sharks left in 5-10 years.
      You can read more about it here: http://www.wildaid.org/sharks or http://www.sharksavers.org

      We need to work on both problems. Because there’s no use having a clean ocean, ff there’s no fish left. And no reason to save all the sharks and other fish species from overfishing, to have them die to polluted water.

  6. Tel

    Now, if they can learn to care about their humans as well.

    Reply
  7. Katrina Love

    We can only hope all these reports are accurate.

    There will always be a black market, but the ban of importing endangered animals or parts of coupled with the work involved in assessing whether a fin comes from an endangered species or not, should see a HUGE decline if report is true.

    According to same news agancy, China has banned shark fin soup at official functions.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/16/china-shark-fin-soup_n_4452897.html

    Reply
  8. Brian

    Wow! Great news… can I ask if those are Blues in the market display or another species? They look like blues physically -juveniles at that- but I cannot quit tell.

    Reply
  9. David McGuire

    Like the last inaccuracy that shark finning is illegal in China (its not) shark fin soup is only restricted for government and party members. Shark fin soup is still (too) widely available in China. Although consumption is down, there are still over 100,000,000 consumers of shark fin in China alone.

    Approximately 20 million blue sharks are killed each year to supply the shark fin trade. Go to sharkstewards.org or follow the ocean voices blog for more facts on shark finning.

    Reply
  10. Jen

    Awesome! I didn’t see this coming, but great news! I’m pretty sure I’ve seen shark fin soup in other countries…do they have a fake version?

    Reply
  11. Stephen Cheung

    China is also trying to stop officials having extravagant meals.

    Not eating meat from fish, plentiful not endangered shark included, is a waste on our food source.

    in China, a big percentage of so called shark fin soup has no shark fin at all.

    Reply
  12. Kevin Higgins

    People don’t realize how important sharks are to the environment. They help keep populations under control. Without them in our oceans, certain populations would boom and overrun the waters. And to those people who use shark attacks as an excuse for killing sharks in mass numbers, you are highly mistaken. Very few species of sharks attack humans, and of the attacks that do happen, only a handful are fatal.

    #EndSharkFinning

    Reply

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