In a move that could ultimately have a huge effect on global efforts to halt the appalling practice of shark finning, China has announced a ban on shark-fin soup at state functions.
While it could take up to three years to fully implement, the ban was hailed by environmentalists.
“Finally we are seeing important steps being taken by China, the world’s largest consumer of shark fins,” said Crawford Allan of the World Wildlife Fund.
The campaign against shark finning in China got a big boost when former NBA star Yao Ming starred in a widespread billboard campaign that brought the issue to the attention of average Chinese consumers, many for the first time.
Taiwan and China are believed to account for more than 95 percent of the annual global shark take.