Shark fin soup is considered a Chinese delicacy, fetching high price tags on numerous menus throughout New Zealand.
While several countries have legislated against the barbaric practice of slicing off shark fins and dumping the carcasses back in the sea, it is still allowed in New Zealand waters.
A survey conducted by the Green Party has revealed one third of Chinese restaurants in Dunedin, Wellington and Auckland sell the dish without concern for the sea to plate methods.
In Auckland 19 eateries serve up the soup with price tags of up to $180. Offering the dish contributes to an annual international total of 73 million sharks slaughtered for their fins.
Green Party MP Gareth Hughes says many restaurants, “particularly in the Auckland region,” were unaware of the environmental issues surrounding shark finning.
“The Green Party is calling on the Government to support the call by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and United Nations General Assembly for New Zealand to introduce a 'fins naturally attached' approach to shark regulation,” says Hughes.
“This would require vessels to keep the whole shark, rather than discarding carcasses at sea.”
He also urged consumers to ultilise their “consumer power” by refusing to dine at restaurants serving shark fin soup.
To see a list of restaurants serving shark fin soup click here.