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Yao faced backlash over shark fin effort

AFP-JIJI

Retired Chinese basketball superstar Yao Ming said he was shocked by protests when he spoke out against eating shark fin, but credits his campaign with helping the species rebound.

Yao said that he was stung when he spoke out against eating shark fin soup, a luxury food for China’s elite. Demand has decimated the shark population with tens of millions killed each year.

“The first letter to me was pretty sharp. That was actually the first protest letter directed to me. Maybe my team got a few already but put it on the side,” Yao told a forum at the Brookings Institution.