Shark Fins: A Second Look About the Tradition

Shark fin

Credit: Nicholas Wang

Do you know what makes news like this Illegal Shark Fins Discovered at Exclusive London Chinese Restaurant newsworthy? This post by Oscar Quine for The Independent attracted attention for several reasons. For one, the Royal China Club in London’s West End is an upmarket restaurant where a meal costs about £70 per person to an astonishing £2,800 a head for a set menu including shark soup. It is a distinguished by restaurant serving the best Chinese dishes in the capital, and they admitted serving their guests shark fin. This they bring in through suitcases through the airports because they knew these can be confiscated when brought in using the usual importation mode.

“Royal China Club has not removed the soup from its menu but now must import it through legal channels. Shark fin – and all the other ingredients offered by the Royal China Club – is legal if imported properly, according to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. However, there is growing pressure for restaurants in the UK to remove the ingredient from their menus. In recent years, a third of restaurants who previously offered shark fins have removed it from menus.”

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