Shark Fin Decline Linked to China Corruption Crackdown

Shark Fin Decline Linked to China Corruption Crackdown

By Agence France-Presse on 3:25 pm September 1, 2013.
Conservationists have attributed a dwindling demand for shark fins to China’s crackdown on corruption which has forced a decline in lavish banquets. “We are seeing a reduction in demand from China. Hong Kong is also showing a significant decline in consumption,” Angelo Villagomez, a shark specialist with US-based conservation group the Pew Charitable Trusts, said Sunday. Villagomez was in the Marshall Islands to discuss shark sanctuaries with leaders at the Pacific Islands Forum, the annual summit of Pacific heads of state. However, he said the decline in shark fin demand over the past year was not directly linked to increasing shark protection by Pacific island governments. Instead, it was related to the Chinese leadership’s crackdown on graft and opposition to extravagance.“It’s not to do with conservation. It’s related to a Chinese government anti-graft crackdown, which has cut back on dinners where shark fin soup was featured on the menu,” Villagomez said.

“The culture is [also] changing in Asia among younger people. They aren’t eating shark fin soup as much.”

Historically, high demand in the Asian market has fueled shark-finning by fishermen on commercial tuna vessels in the Pacific.

But finning is slowly being shut down as the number of islands legislating shark sanctuaries grows.

Villagomez will be meeting this week with Pacific leaders to discuss extending the number of shark sanctuaries.

“The Pacific is leading the world in shark conservation,” he said.”Pew is working with islands that have sanctuaries on enforcement, implementing best practices, and conducting research.”

The nearly 300 purse seine fishing boats now plying tuna grounds in the Pacific are required to have independent observers on board and with “100 percent observer coverage, enforcement of shark bans is as good as it will get,” Villagomez added.

“The islands now have eyes on the water and in the ports.”

Since banning shark fishing in its waters in 2011, the Marshall Islands has arrested two foreign vessels for having shark fins on board and fined them more than $100,000.

“During the next two years, our goal is to create a united Pacific front on sharks,” Villagomez said.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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