BEIJING, March 9 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese lawmaker has proposed that the country's top legislature should ban the trade of shark fin, a high-end delicacy consumed by wealthy people in China and East Asia.
Shark-fin trading generates enormous profits, but encourages overfishing and brutal slaughter of sharks, of which some 30 species are near extinction, said Ding Liguo, deputy to the National People's Congress, Wednesday.
China is now the biggest market of shark fin, consuming 95 percent of the world's total with Taiwan, Hong Kong counted, said Ding, a billionaire and executive chairman of Delong Holdings Limited, at a panel discussion of the ongoing parliament session.
Shark fin soup has become an essential part of any respectable banquet in China over the years. And there are no laws in China banning shark fin trading. Publicity campaign against shark fin consumption has had limited impact.
"Only legislation can stop shark fin trading and reduce the killings of sharks," Ding said.
Fin trade encourages shark-finning, a practice in which the fins are typically cut off while the shark is still alive. The shark then dies a slow death.