Visiting the Dried Sea Food Market with HK Shark Foundation’s “Shark Lady"

鮑魚,海參,乾魚器官和魚翅 or Bàoyú, hǎishēn, gān yú qìguān hé yúchì.

“Traditionally, in Chinese culture, abalone, sea cucumber, shark fin and fish naw (Bao Shen Qi To) make up the four lucky ‘must-haves’ for weddings, birthdays, and festival celebrations", says Andrea Richey, Executive Director of the Hong Kong Shark Foundation aka the “Shark Lady” at the start of our conversation as she takes me through the Sai Wan Dry sea food market.

They are expensive items, but those who can afford it don’t actually need an occasion to have these on their table. It is all about ‘conspicuous consumption”. In other words, items sold as a status symbol to give face like having a Ferrari or a Mont Blanc pen.

As we walk through the dry seafood market shops in string along the des voeux road and big parts of Connaught road, we can’t help but notice the diversity of the sea food products proposed. Among this diversity the conspicuous ones are the baby shark fins proudly displayed!

Andrea tells us that over 100 million sharks are killed every year for their fins. The shocker is that 50% of the global shark fin trade comes right under our nose, right here to Hong Kong to neighbourhoods like Sai Wan’s dried sea food market. And even though the HK Shark Foundation continues to crusade and raise awareness, sadly 98% of our HK Chin