An assessment of South African dried abalone Haliotis midae consumption and trade in Hong Kong

A new TRAFFIC report reveals a thriving trade in poached South African abalone Haliotis midae in Hong Kong, where the marine mollusc is considered a delicacy in Cantonese cuisine. Over the last 20 years, the illegal harvest of abalone in South Africa has exceeded the legal quotas, with criminal networks poaching and smuggling wild abalone to Hong Kong, which imports about 90% of all dried South African abalone. The report, “An assessment of South African dried abalone Haliotis midae consumption and trade in Hong Kong,” produced by TRAFFIC as part of the USAID-funded Wildlife TRAPS Project, shows that South African abalone imports to Hong Kong have increased in recent years, despite severe restrictions on wild harvest. It estimates that of South African abalone imports to Hong Kong in 2015, 65% was illegally sourced and trafficked compared to the 35% that was legally wild-caught or produced through aquaculture operations.

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