A sprawling market floor in Guangzhou was once a prime location for shark fin, one of China's most expensive delicacies. But now it lies deserted, thanks to a ban from official banquet tables and a celebrity-driven ad campaign.
Environmental and animal rights groups have campaigned for decades against consumption of shark fin, arguing that demand for the delicacy has decimated the world's shark population and that the methods used to obtain it are inhumane.
China consumes more shark fin than any other country in the world, according to the campaign group WildAid.
The tide began to turn in 2012, when the ruling Communist Party announced a government ban on serving shark fin, bird's nest soup and other wild animal products at official functions, saying that it would set a precedent that would help protect endangered species.
Demand has since decreased dramatically, the group says, with the biggest impact in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province and the heart of China's shark fin industry.
A WildAid survey released this month said shark fin sales had slumped in the city, with retail prices slumping an average 57 percent and wholesale costs dropping by 47 percent.
In neighbouring Hong Kong, a major transit point for the trade, import-export volumes have plunged.
The largest category, undried fins with cartilage, went from almost 6,800 tonnes in 2011 to less than two tonnes last year, government statistics showed -- although dried fins with cartilage still stood at around 3,800 tonnes.
Several major hotel chains and airlines in the region have banned it and WildAid's executive director Peter Knight said: "Demand reduction can be very effective. The more people learn about the consequences of eating shark fin soup, the less they want to participate in the trade."
Government bans on the dish, he added, "helped send the right message and this could be a model to address issues such as ivory".