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Conservationists welcome fake shark fin trade

By Zhang Zihan (Global Times)

08:12, January 10, 2013

Dry shark fin on sale at a store in Jingshen seafood market in Fengtai district Wednesday. Photo: Li Hao/GT

Fengtai Administration of Industry and Commerce launched an investigation Wednesday into shark fins after media reports that fake shark fins were being sold in seafood markets.

However, as opposed to many fake food scandals in China, experts have said the fake fins could be healthier for humans, while animal rights activists have welcomed the duplicity.

An anonymous media officer from Fengtai Administration of Industry and Commerce told the Global Times that they have investigated all the seafood markets in the district.

"We have collected enough samples and right now they are being examined. Details of the investigation will be published soon," he said.

A China Central Television news exposé Tuesday accused Jingshen Market, a seafood market in Fengtai district of selling fake shark fins, quoting a female merchant who said a bag of fake fins only cost around tens of yuan.

The program alleged that restaurants and hotels are selling the fake fins to customers under the guise of the real thing, but still at premium prices.

Vendors at the market Wednesday refused to say how much the fins cost, but online shopping site Taobao sells bags of fake fins for 40 yuan ($6).

However, real shark fins are much more expensive, as another vendor, surnamed Ye, said the price of real shark fins varies from 1,400 to 6,000 yuan per kilogram.

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