Thousands of shark fins are seen drying on the roof top of an industrial building in Hong Kong’s Kennedy Town district, Hong Kong, China, 01 & 02 January 2013. Shark fin traders in the city have recently changed tactic to drying freshly caught fins from sharks on roof tops instead of on public sidewalks, as a public outcry in the Hong Kong in 2010 forced them to move the fins out of sight. Activists say that shark finning is cruel and wasteful, as the fins of the shark are removed whilst it is still alive, and then the animal is thrown back into the sea to die a slow and painful death. ScientistsÂ estimate that the fins of between 26 and 73 million sharks are traded on an annual basis. Solely in Hong Kong, this accounts for about 50% of global imports. According to a 2010 survey by the United Nations International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) 143 out of a total of 430 shark species are listed as globally threatened, and 54% are at high risk of extinction now or in the near future. The consensus in the scientific community is that this is being driven by overfishing and the Chinese appetite for shark fin soup. Despite widespread global legislation being in place to ban the sale and possession of shark fin in many countries around the world, the Hong Kong government has yet to legislate against shark finning.