What is the illegal shark fin trade? Each year, according to various estimates, up to 75 million sharks are killed for their fins. The killing of sharks is not an offence unless they are endangered or protected. Unfortunately, many of the sharks caught are. For instance, in May 2020, Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department seized 26 tons of sharks’ fins from two containers that arrived from Ecuador. The fins were from an estimated 38,500 sharks. The vast majority came from two vulnerable species: the thresher and silky shark. Sadly, Hong Kong remains a major hub of the shark fin trade.