Virgin Group head Branson and former NBA player Yao attend a news conference organized by Wildaid to promote shark conservation in Shanghai. Credit: REUTERS/Aly Song
The consumption of shark fin soup as a rare delicacy in China has been on the decline thanks to the efforts of NBA star Yao Ming, conservationists, Chinese business leaders and others. Consumption has "gone down by 50 to 70 percent in the last two years," Peter Knights, executive director of WildAid, told the Washington Post.
According to the same article, the demand for this "fashionable" soup led to the killing of more than 70 million sharks last year alone. The problem stems from the fact that the nation is unaware of how their consumption impacts the species, which is why many believe the increase in awareness has led to a decrease in demand.
Chinese demand for endangered wildlife is not limited to just shark fins. Ivory is popular among the lavishly rich, which has led to an increase in elephant poaching in Africa as well.
As Knights told the Post, "Conservation is more about China now than it is about Africa. China can be the savior of wildlife or it can be the demise of it."
Read more on The Washington Post.