STAMFORD, Conn. — Shark fin soup has been an item of contention in restaurants and jurisdictions across the country for months, and now Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is purported to be the first global hotel operator to announce plans to eliminate shark fins from the menus of its nearly 1,200 hotels and 1,300 restaurants across the globe by July.

This move is in line with the Stamford, Conn.-based company’s decision to remove shark fin from its public menus in 2012 and its commitment to sustainability. “At Starwood, we believe economic growth and the well-being of society are inextricably tied to the health of the environment, including the health of the world’s oceans and its inhabitants,” said Frits van Paasschen, president and CEO of Starwood. “Our worldwide ban on shark fin represents an important, environmentally responsible step to aid in the collective goal of marine preservation. As a company with a collection of hotels that span the globe, Starwood has a unique opportunity to influence travellers and guests worldwide.”

According to the hotel company, an estimated 100-million sharks fall victim to illegal hunting or poaching, often for their fins, which are used to make the traditional Asian delicacy, shark fin soup.

Aside from banning the procurement and consumption of shark fin at its hotels, Starwood has also banned whale and sea turtle from its menus.

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