China / Society

Anti-graft drive forces down shark fin prices, sales

By ZHENG CAIXIONG ( Updated: 2014-08-20 18:25

Shark fin prices have plummeted in Guangzhou this year following the launch of the nationwide anti-corruption campaign and a government ban on the consumption of expensive delicacies bought with public funds.

A jin (0.5 kilogram) of shark fins formerly changed hands for more than 1,400 yuan ($227.64) but now costs 600 yuan or less at the Yidelu dried seafood market, Guangdong province's New Express Daily reported.

Despite the price cut, sales of the fins have dropped by 80 percent in the past two months compared with the same period last year.

Anti-graft drive forces down shark fin prices, sales

Crackdown on graft 
The fins are used to make shark fin soup, regarded as a prestigious delicacy.

"In past years, many residents used to purchase shark fins to bribe officials, while restaurants reported brisk sales of shark-fin dishes in the run-up to the Mid-Autumn Festival," Pan said. "But these big sales are not happening."

The Mid-Autumn Festival falls on September 8 this year.

Meanwhile, prices of abalone and sea cucumbers have also fallen dramatically, as have sales of the delicacies.

Wu Huihan, deputy director of Guangzhou Chamber of Dried Seafood, said he did not expect prices to rise this year.

Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province, has been renowned for its cooking for centuries and has traditionally been a major center of the trade in shark fins, abalone and sea cucumbers.

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