Make it public policy not to serve shark products at official functions
This petition is presented by HK Shark Foundation with the support of
BLOOM, Divers Kinetic, Humane Society International, Man and Shark, Sea Shepherd, SharkSavers, Shark Rescue, SPCA and WWF-Hong Kong. 1. Sharks are fundamental to maintaining the balance of the marine ecosystem. As apex predators at the top of the food chain, sharks help regulate the abundance and diversity of the extraordinary marine life beneath them. Declining populations therefore directly affect the health of our oceans.
鯊魚在維持海洋生態平衡上，擔當不可或缺的角色。作為海洋食物鏈的頂層捕獵者，鯊魚主宰了所有下層海洋生物的數量和種類的多寡。 2. Shark populations worldwide are in rapid decline from overfishing and habitat destruction. In some regions, populations have fallen by as much as 90%. According to the globally recognised International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), almost 56% of shark species (where there is sufficient data to determine conservation status) are at high risk of extinction either now or in the near future. That’s 143 shark species!
面對過度捕撈和棲息地被破壞，全球鯊魚數量正在急速下降；個別地區更下跌9成。根據國際知名的世界自然保護聯盟所作的統計，近５成6，亦即是143種鯊魚品種已即將或正在面臨絕種威脅（這還未包括其他缺乏統計數據的品種）。 3. The demand for Shark Fin soup is driving this decline. The fins from up to 73 million sharks are traded worldwide each year (around 200,000 sharks per day!). Based on official (FAO) statistics, global shark catches are likely to be underestimated by an astonishing three to four fold.
人們對魚翅的需求直接促使鯊魚數量的下滑。按全球魚翅交易量顯示，每年有多達7千3百萬條鯊魚被捕撈（亦即每日20萬條！）。而根據聯合國糧食及農業組織的統計，確實數字應多３至４倍。 WHY LOBBY THE HKSAR GOVERNMENT? 為什麼向政府遊說？ 4. Hong Kong is the centre of the global shark fin trade, being responsible for approximately 50% of global imports annually. The trade is highly valuable to a relatively small number of traders with retail prices ranging from 1650 HK$/kg (212USD) to 14,550HK$ /kg (1870USD).
香港是全球魚翅貿易總樞紐，每年，約百分之五十魚翅在本港經銷。香港魚翅商不多，以零售價每公斤$1,650港幣（212美元）至$1,4550港幣 (1,870美元）看來，營業額十分可觀。 5. The Hong Kong trade is unregulated. No scientific identification i.e. genetic test of imported fins is required other than for the three species protected under UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Research published in 2006 showed that approximately 40% of the auctioned fin weight in the Hong Kong shark fin market came from 14 shark species listed in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Recent research conducted in 2011 also confirmed that IUCN Red List Species are being traded in Hong Kong.
政府對魚翅貿易監管不足。政府對魚翅貿易監管不足，例如為所有進口魚翅進行基因測試鑑定品種，而現時卻只有３種受《瀕危野生動植物種國際貿易公約》保護的鯊魚的魚翅接受基因測試。2006年一項研究卻指出，約４成在香港交易的魚翅來自14種被《世界自然保護聯盟瀕危物種紅色名錄》列為「瀕危」或「易危」的鯊魚。2011年也有研究證實，《世界自然保護聯盟瀕危物種紅色名錄》中的鯊魚物種的確在港經銷。 6. The HKSAR government’s behaviour is contrary to its own assertion that it ‘pays heed to the principles of sustainable development’ and to the commendable foresight it demonstrated recently upon becoming a signatory to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. The aim of the Convention is the conservation of biological diversity and the sustainable use of the components of biological diversity. To date there is only one relatively small MSC-certified shark fishery which cannot support the demand of the global shark fin trade.
特區政府曾承諾支持可持續發展原則，早前更簽署了《生物多樣性公約》；卻一直沒有實際行動。《生物多樣性公約》的主要目的是保障生物多樣性，和可持續地利用其組成部分。至今，世界上只有一個規模很小而被海洋管理委員會認可的鯊魚漁業，實不足以滿足世界各地對魚翅的殷切需求。 7. Shark fin soup is widely consumed in Hong Kong and is served largely on special occasions, such as banquets and official functions. In a recent survey, 73% of Hong Kong people had consumed shark fin in the previous 12 months, compared to just 6% for shark liver capsules and 3% for shark meat.
在香港，各大小宴會的菜單上必定有魚翅。最近一項民意調查顯示，超過７成港人過去1年內曾經進食魚翅，而曾進食鯊魚肝油丸和鯊魚肉的就分別只有百分之六和三。 8. The Hong Kong government includes 69 departments/agencies as well as 15 policy bureaux (including government secretariat) and public funds are used for official dining parties and banquets. The Government states that its banquets should ‘not include expensive food or endangered species’ and that its menus do not ‘generally include shark fin’. However, it does NOT monitor the use of public funds in this regard nor whether banquet menus actually include shark fin. Nor does it ‘think it appropriate to lay down guidelines to regulate the kind of food consumed at banquets’. We ask quite simply, in the interests of sustainability and the public purse, WHY NOT?
香港特區政府包含69個部門及15個決策局（組成政府總部），各部門舉行的宴會開支都由公帑支付。政府曾表明所有宴會都「不會食用貴價食材和瀕危物種」，而菜單「一般都不會有魚翅」。但事實上，政府並沒有監管這方面公帑的使用或規定宴會上不用魚翅款客；而有關宴會上可提供菜式的明確指引，政府內部根本沒有列出。事情既涉及可持續發展原則，又關乎公帑使用，何不加以規管？ Join us in requesting that the Hong Kong Government demonstrates its principles of sustainability by establishing a formal policy that shark and shark fin must not be served at HKSAR Government banquets, dining parties or other official functions. It’s a request that not only reaffirms the Governments own statements, but is both realistic and achievable.
I request that the HKSAR government implements a formal policy banning the serving of shark, including shark fin, at all government dining parties, banquets and official functions.
本人特此來函促請香港特別行政區政府訂立明確內部指引，禁止所有政府宴會以鯊魚食品 -- 包括魚翅 -- 作食材。
As you are aware, Hong Kong is the centre of the global shark fin trade and the demand for shark fin soup is one of the key drivers in declining shark populations.
While serving shark fin is regarded as traditional with respect to special occasions and banquets, public sentiment is changing. In 2010, local research undertaken by Hong Kong University Social Sciences Research Centre indicated that two-thirds of Hong Kong people surveyed were uncomfortable eating species known to be endangered. The majority of those surveyed were open to alternatives to shark fin soup. Hong Kong people are willing to change in light of the changing environment and the threat to shark populations and our oceans, globally.
The HKSAR government asserts that publically funded government functions should ‘not include expensive food or endangered species’ and that menus do not ‘generally include shark fin’. While this is commendable, it would appear there is NO monitoring of public funds spent on such expensive and unsustainable items NOR of shark species coming into Hong Kong – other than for the three species regulated under CITES (which involves checking permits rather than proactively monitoring species).
To date, of the species assessed to determine their conservation status, the IUCN claim that no less than 143 (56%) are at high risk of extinction, now or in the near future. In addition research published in 2006 showed that approximately 40% of the auctioned fin weight in the Hong Kong shark fin market came from 14 shark species listed in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Local research in 2011 also confirmed that such species were being traded in the retail shark fin market. It is therefore impossible to prevent endangered shark species being served in Hong Kong without genetically testing the shark fins, a shark fin labeling system, or, more practically, simply banning the serving of shark fin outright.
到現時為止，《世界自然保護聯盟》指出全球不少於143 (56%) 鯊魚物種現正及即將面臨瀕危。2006年的一項調查指出，40%於香港進行貿易的魚翅來自《世界自然保護聯盟紅色名錄》內的14個物種。另一個2011年進行的本地研究調查也證實，這14個鯊魚物種的確在港經銷。在現時香港没有嚴格執行魚翅基因測試的環境下，除非政府推行魚翅分類標籤系統，或直接立例禁止在宴會上食用魚翅，否則以瀕危鯊魚物種作食材的問題只會持續。
The Government claims commitment to sustainability, but in the absence of sustainable shark fisheries sufficient to meet the growing demands of the shark fin trade, a self-governing policy on shark fin consumption is clearly required.
As a result, such Government statements are in essence meaningless, unless the Government itself takes the relatively small step of introducing a ban on serving shark at its own dining parties, banquets and official functions. In doing so, it will conclusively reaffirm its own standing and demonstrate its integrity.
I ask that the HKSAR government demonstrates the same foresight it showed in signing the Convention on Biological Diversity and introduces a no shark and no shark fin policy in relation to all government dining parties, banquets and official functions. By such action, the Government will take a leading step in conserving species of global importance to our oceans.