Hilton Worldwide has announced that shark fin dishes will be banned from all of its Asia Pacific properties by April this year.
Approximately 73 million sharks are slaughtered annually to feed the appetite for shark fin soup worldwide.
In December 2012, shark fin was removed from Hilton’s restaurant and F&B facility menus in China and Southeast Asia. Dishes containing shark fin were still made available for diners, but only served upon request. In September last year, a ban on sharks fin came into practice at Hilton’s Southeast Asia properties, and was followed by a ban in Greater China at the beginning of this month.
The ban will continue in Japan where the menu removal of shark fin will take effect at the beginning of April. Japan has not accepted banquet orders for the dwindling ingredient since December last year, excepting orders that were made prior to the menu change.
The company is now on track to ban shark fin it all of its 645 owned and managed properties worldwide.
“We made a decisive commitment to influence consumer demand and ensure operational compliance across our portfolio of hotels by taking a measured country-by-country approach. In placing a global ban on shark fin, we take action in support of environmental conservation efforts worldwide, and progress our efforts in responsible business operations,” said Martin Rinck, president, Asia Pacific, Hilton Worldwide.
World Wide Fund for Nature – Singapore CEO, Elaine Tan said, “The demand for shark fin in Asia Pacific has been identified as a major cause of decline in global shark populations. Hilton Worldwide’s ban on shark fin will go a long way in this region towards protecting valuable shark species, which are in turn crucial for maintaining the health of our marine ecosystems. Hilton Worldwide’s measured and step-wise approach towards responsible sourcing is a fine example of how businesses with strong leadership can, and should, take responsibility for their impact on the environment.”
The shark fin ban by Hilton will add to the move by international hotel chains Swiss-Belhotel and Shangri-La who have also committed to the ban on the unsustainable ingredient. Bluefin tuna and Chillean sea bass has also been banned by Shangri-La Hotels & Resort, as part of the company’s Sustainable Seafood Policy.
Hilton’s shark fin ban is part of the company’s efforts to develop a Sustainable Sourcing Policy, which is yet to be released.