Hong Kong Shark Fin

A worker collects pieces of shark fins dried on the rooftop of a factory building in Hong Kong Thursday. Pic: AP.

HONG KONG (AP) — Shark fin traders in Hong Kong have laid out thousands of fins on rooftops in what appears to be a move to escape public scrutiny of their industry.

Thousands of the freshly cut fins were seen blanketing the roof of an industrial building in Hong Kong this week.

Environmental campaigner Gary Stokes, who took the first photos of the drying on Jan. 1, said Friday that the traders usually dried their fins on the sidewalks. He suspected that the traders went upstairs to avoid pressure from concerned passers-by.

Hong Kong is the world center of the shark fin industry, accounting for about half of global trade. But some hotels and an airline in Hong Kong have moved to distance themselves from the industry because of growing environmental concerns.