3 in 4 Singaporeans would back laws to reduce shark's fin consumption: WWF survey

Activists dressed in shark suits taking part in a protest to draw attention to the shark's fin trade in Hong Kong on Jan 30, 2016.
Activists dressed in shark suits taking part in a protest to draw attention to the shark's fin trade in Hong Kong on Jan 30, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - Three in four people here would support legislation to reduce the consumption of shark's fin, a World Wide Fund for Nature Singapore (WWF-Singapore) survey has found.

The poll, which surveyed 504 people in Singapore in October and November last year, also found that over eight in 10 people here think that it is acceptable to serve alternatives to shark's fin soup at wedding banquets.

Popular alternatives include double boiled soup and braised soup.

Traditionally popular at Chinese wedding banquets here, shark's fin soup has come under fire over the years for its adverse impact on wildlife conservation.

According to WWF-Singapore, around 100 million sharks are killed each year for their fins. Over 180 shark and related species are considered threatened as of 2010, up from just 15 species in 1996.

The conservation organisation's chief executive Elaine Tan said attitudes towards eating shark's fin are changing.

"It is clear we are experiencing a cultural change where preservation of our ocean resources and conservation of the shark species is becoming more important to the majority of the public than the traditional value of shark's fin soup," she said.

"It is time for businesses to step up and match the public's expectations, stop selling shark's fin and support sustainable seafood."

The survey also found that over eight in 10 people in Singapore have not eaten shark or ray meat in the past year. Government legislation on shark's fin is not new.

In recent years, countries like Malaysia and China have imposed bans on shark's fin being served at official functions. Brunei was the first country to ban the catching of shark species and shark's fin trade in 2013.