Consumption Strategy | WWF
	© Andy Cornish

Responsible Consumption

Sharks are sought for fins, meat, leather, liver oil and cartilage. However, it is the demand for shark fins in Asia that is the greatest driver of overfishing and population declines. In Hong Kong, the centre of the fin trade, shark fin soup is a luxury item served at wedding banquets and other celebrations; it symbolizes power, wealth and generosity.

While the demand for shark, ray and skate meat isn’t given as much attention as shark fin, the trade has been increasing since the early 1990s and the sheer volume from fisheries that are not well managed is a serious threat to the survival of these species. We need to understand and tackle both of these consumption drivers.

In the case of manta rays and devil rays, the gill plates are used in China to make a detoxifying health tonic. 


  • Sale of unsustainable shark fin by the catering sector significantly reduced across major cities in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.
  • The source of shark and ray products (particularly meat) in Mexico, Colombia and Ecuador from both domestic catch and imports will be analysed. This will help us develop a targeted strategy to reduce demand for least sustainable products.
Shark Fins
© Jurgen FREUND, WWF
	© Paul Hilton
Manta gill plate for sale in Guangzhou China
© Paul Hilton

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