Chinese Netizens Skeptical of Gov’t Ban on Shark Fin Soup

An estimated 70 – 100 million sharks are massacred annually, mainly due to demand for shark fin soup.

While the West heralds China’s recent announcement to ban shark fin soup at government banquets as a success, social media sites in China are abuzz with skepticism.

Users of China’s popular microblogging platform Weibo scoffed at the news, especially since the ban could still be three years away.

According to AsiaOne, the announcement was mocked on Chinese social media sites as a timid step by leaders who are out of touch with the people:

  • “Given the way Chinese civil servants eat, in three years you won’t need to enforce this ban; the shark fin will be all gone.”
  • “This just proves that solving the problems of housing, the elderly, the environment, corruption, employment, education, health care, food safety, migrant workers, stock markets, buying train tickets, and banning shark’s fin and maotai (expensive rice wine) are all more difficult than launching a rocket into outer space.”
  • “So, are they going to eat panda now?”

AsiaOne also noted that China’s “growing wealth gap has caused social tension”.

The populations of some shark species have been decimated by more than 90 percent over the past few decades, and experts estimate that between 70 and 100 million sharks are massacred annually — mostly for shark fin soup.


Image by Eazy traveler via Wikimedia Commons

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Rhishja Cota-Larson

I am the founder of Annamiticus, and I work as an independent Wildlife Trade and Communication Design Consultant. I have journeyed to the streets of Hanoi to research the illegal wildlife trade, and to the rainforests of Sumatra and Java to document the world’s rarest rhinos. I am a Co-Chair of the SSN Pangolin Working Group. At CITES meetings, I collaborate with colleagues from around the world to lobby in favor of protecting endangered species. I am a Wildlife Trade and Trafficking Consultant for the upcoming documentary The Price, the host of Behind the Schemes and author of the book Murder, Myths & Medicine. I enjoy desert gardening, herping, reading, designing, and walking with my dogs.