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Hakkasan removes ‘unethical’ shark-fin soup from menu

By Becky Paskin , 05-Sep-2008

Hakkasan removes ‘unethical’ shark-fin soup from menu

Alan Yau’s Michelin-starred London restaurant removed the Chinese delicacy after ‘pressure’ from anti-shark trade campaigners

Alan Yau’s Michelin-starred Chinese restaurant Hakkasan has removed the controversial shark-fin soup from its menu, amid media attention surrounding the ethics of the international shark trade.

Bite-back , the shark and marine conservation group, claim to have pressured the London restaurant into removing the £42 per serving soup from their menus as part of their bid to make Britain shark-free.

 

Sharks fin is actually tasteless, but has a remarkable ability to soak up and enhance the flavour of other ingredients added to it. However, the increased popularity of the Chinese delicacy across the globe has seen some shark stocks plummet by 90 per cent since 1950. The fin is the most useful part of a shark’s body, and is often controversially cut from the living shark before being thrown back into the water where it is left susceptible to predator attacks.

 

Campaign director at Bite-Back, Graham Buckingham, said: “Hakkasan’s decision to drop shark-fin soup is inspired. This is a perfect illustration of how businesses can help safeguard the oceans by reviewing the items it sells.

 

“Sharks should enjoy the same reverence as lions, tigers and leopards. As apex predators, their position in the marine environment is paramount. If we continue to remove them from the oceans at the current rate, the underwater food chain could collapse with catastrophic consequences.”

 

Protests against the shark trade also this week resulted in a woman hanging herself from de-barbed shark hooks in a Regent Street shop window, to highlight the plight of the underwater predators.

 

Hakkasan have refused to comment on the issue, and according to The Independent, stated only that the decision was made ‘for many reasons, but none that we would like to talk about’.

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