22 November 2011 by Luke McCormick
The Peninsula Hotels has become the first international hotel group to introduce a ban on shark fin soup.
The group will introduce a company-wide ban on the consumption and serving of shark fin soup from 01 January 2012, a move the group's holding company Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels (HSH) says is in line with the firm's sustainability vision.
In a statement, the company said: "While some individual hotels and restaurants around the world have removed shark fin from their menus, The Peninsula Hotels is the first international hotel group to take such a definitive stand on the issue of shark fin across all hotels and restaurants in the company."
Clement K.M. Kwok, chief executive of HSH, added, "By removing shark fin from our menus, we hope that our decision can contribute to preserving the marine ecosystem for the world's future generations.
"As Asia's oldest hotel company, we also hope that our decision will inspire other hospitality companies to do the same and that our industry will play a role in helping to preserve the bio-diversity of our oceans."
Shark fin has traditionally been a delicacy served at Asian weddings, celebrations and special event banquets, "but with 143 sharks being killed every minute for shark fin consumption, the company's chefs have been directed to develop new dishes for these occasions to replace shark fin on all menus", Kwok said.