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Spain's international hotel chain Melia joins shark fin ban

Published on Aug 5, 2014 3:20 AM
A worker lays out shark fins to dry on a road in Hong Kong on July 31, 2014. Hong Kong and China are two of the world's biggest markets for shark fins where it is commonly served as a soup at wedding banquets and corporate parties, but conservationists say booming demand for fins has put pressure on the world's shark populations prompting calls for measures to restrict their trade. -- PHOTO: AFP

MADRID (AFP) - Spain’s biggest hotel chain Melia Hotels International said Monday it has removed shark fins from the menu of all of its restaurants around the world, joining a growing global campaign against the popular delicacy in Asia.

“With the removal of shark fin as an ingredient, Melia contributes to the protection of the important role sharks have in maintaining balance in marine ecosystems,” the company said in a statement.

“As predators, sharks are a key species in the food chain and also indicators of the health of our oceans. They eliminate the weakest prey, maintain balance with competitors, and guarantee the diversity of species,” it added.

Melia, which runs more than 350 hotels in 40 countries, making it one of the world’s largest hotel companies, said the ban on shark fins would also apply to all events held in its facilities.

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