Report by Shark Info
Two nature conservation organizations carried out a telephone opinion
poll in Hong Kong and Taiwan for the purpose of investigating the eating
habits of the local populations with regard to shark products.
WildAid and EarthCare poll 1,006 people in Hong Kong:
Of the 1,006 people queried, 372 eat shark fin soup regularly. When
asked why, 208 people replied that it was strictly a social habit, 93
gave religious reasons and 36 people eat them for health reasons. When
asked if they eat shark fin soup alone or in company, 5 replied that
they ate the soup alone while 21 replied that they ate it both alone and
in the company of other people. Another 209 people said that they eat
just as much shark fin soup as five years ago and 104 of those
questioned eat more today; 165 people replied that they would no longer
eat shark fin soup if this was the real reason for the decimation of
shark populations, 123 people would still eat the soup and 82 gave no
Asked if they feel that sharks are important for the balance of marine
life, 643 people or 64% agreed, while 57 said that sharks were a threat
to man and should be killed. Another 171 people agreed to the statement
that it does not matter what happens to sharks. It is thus not
astonishing that 707 of all questioned individuals, or more than 70%,
feel it is justified to kill sharks solely for their fins. Only 110
persons disagreed with this and 169 persons gave no reply.
WildAid polls 1,015 people in Taiwan:
In July 2000 WildAid carried out a telephone poll in Taiwan with 1,015
people concerning sharks and shark fin soup:
Of those questioned, 30% had never eaten shark fin soup.
Considering the danger to shark populations and the possible effects of
overfishing, 7% of those questioned have stopped eating shark fin soup.
When asked if they knew that shark fin soup stems from sharks, 43%
replied yes, while 29% only knew that they are made of "fish".
Some 60% agreed that shark fin soup is nothing special, 16% agreed
strongly to this statement, 21% rejected it and 3% rejected it
Asked what their main reason for eating shark fin soup was, 79% replied
social occasions, 25% said they eat it on family occasions and 1% said
they eat it alone.
Some 33% of those polled believe that shark fin soup is unreplaceable,
but 15% commented that any other soup would be just as acceptable.
Asked if they would pay USD 100 for a bowl of shark fin soup, 69% of the
people said yes while 27% said no.
Some 80% of those polled agreed that shark fin soup has contributed to
the overfishing of these animals.
Another 13% believed that fins would regenerate.
When asked if the process of cutting off a shark's fins and then
throwing away the remaining part of the body is wasteful, 52% said yes,
19% agreed emphatically, 24% said no and 5% spoke clearly against this
Of those polled, 70% believe that sharks are important for the oceans'
ecology, 18% strongly agreed with this statement, 11% rejected this
statement and 1% rejected it emphatically.
May be published only by indicating the source: Shark Info