Upscale London Restaurant Caught Selling Illegal Shark Fin Soup

The popularity of shark fin soup has been on the decline, but is not illegal in the UK.

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

The controversial item is not illegal in the UK, but must be imported through proper channels. 

Illegally imported shark fins have been confiscated from the Royal China Club, an upscale Chinese restaurant in London, reports The Independent.
The investigation, conducted by the Westminster City Council trading standards organization, began after the restaurant’s marketing manager, Jason Chan, admitted during a January interview with the same publication that the restaurant was selling shark fin soup and other exotic items not listed on the menu.
The restaurant was found to have been importing shark fins sent by post from Hong Kong in order to evade British import laws.
“The council undertook an investigation and discovered that they imported the produce through an unapproved channel and as such we have taken appropriate action against the restaurant,” a member of the council told The Independent.
American Airlines only recently stopped transporting shark fins through the United States from Costa Rica; doing so is in violation of the Endangered Species Act. Those shark fins were also sent to Hong Kong, where the dish remains available.
According to the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the importation of shark fins is not illegal if imported through the proper channels, though conservationists have continued to call for a federal ban of shark fins. The restaurant is not required to remove shark fin soup from its menu, but must import the item through approved channels.
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