KFBG uses DNA forensics to identify endangered shark species

A Better World

KFBG is concerned of illegal and unsustainable wildlife trade. We use DNA forensics to identify wildlife parts and products, such as shark fins sold in the retail market in Hong Kong. A study launched by KFBG, in collaboration with shark experts from Hong Kong and the United States, revealed that fins of at least 76 shark species are sold in Hong Kong and about one-third of the species are threatened by extinction. Our findings indicate that Hong Kong’s shark fin trade is sourced from a large number of species, including species that are not strictly sharks (rays, skates, and ratfishes).

The study was published in the high profile scientific journal "Conservation Biology" and a press release conference was held on 31 October 2017 to share our findings. We recommend continued monitoring and clear labelling of shark fins in the market, and encourage the public to request more transparency for labelling of shark fins, as well as other wildlife products.

Background and findings of the shark fin study: (please click the image and view the enlarged infographic)

Press Release: Unprecedented DNA study of Hong Kong’s shark fin retail market finds: At least 76 species sold as shark fins