By VIANCA TEO
In Macau (an autonomous region situated on the south coast of China) the consumption of shark fins remains extensively prevalent, though local residents in neighboring mainland China – in the majority – have abandoned the practice for moral reasons (government legislation banned the serving of shark fins in restaurants). Yearly, hundreds of millions of sharks are captured and slaughtered, threatening the species to approach near extinction. Shark fins, in point of fact, do not provide any special nutritional benefits whatsoever – however – people (particularly the elite) willfully engage in eating the dish as an apparent testimony of their wealth and high status – hence why they sell prosperously in the Macanese market. In addition to shark fins merely constituting a low nutritive value, the limited amount of remaining sharks pose detrimental harm to the marine ecosystem. In order to prevent further disturbance of the natural environment and to maintain its balance, Macau must initiate halting the practice, as China was able to.