Valuable fins

The most valuable part of a shark is usually its fins, which are the principal ingredient of ‘shark fin soup’, a traditional Chinese delicacy that is becoming increasingly popular, as more people are able to afford it.

Sets of shark fins can sell for more than US$ 700,- per kg, while a bowl of shark fin soup can cost US$ 100,- in an up-market restaurant.

An estimated 10,000 tons of shark fins are traded around the world every year and increasing by an estimated 5% per year. Mainland China is now the largest importer.

Overall, European participation in the Hong Kong fin market has increased from negligible levels in the early 1990s to nearly a third of total declared imports.