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Conservationists welcome fake shark fin trade (3)

By Zhang Zihan (Global Times)

08:14, January 10, 2013

Environmentalists see the fake fins as a chance to save lives. Wang Xue, director of NGO Green Beagle's anti-shark fin program told the Global Times she thinks this is a good way to replace real shark fins.

"Fishing sharks for fins is cruel and against nature, so I see no reason to be against these 'fins' as long as they are produced under supervision and customers are informed about it on the menu," said Wang.

Beijing is China's biggest shark fin market, and at least 100 million yuan is spent on its consumption daily.

In some luxury hotels a small bowl of shark fin soup can cost 1,800 yuan, and animal rights activists and celebrities, such as Yao Ming, have recently stepped up efforts to campaign against shark finning.

However, just last week over 30,000 freshly cut mako shark fins were found drying on top of a Hong Kong apartment block. Conservationists have estimated that one-third of all shark species face extinction, the South China Morning Post reported on January 4.

Most shark fin processing has already moved to the Chinese mainland, the report said.

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