President Trump is in hot water with animal rights activists over shark-fin soup that they claim he ate during his visit to Vietnam over the weekend.

According to E&E News and the Associated Press, Trump was served the soup at Saturday's state dinner in Hanoi. The meal is considered a delicacy and a status-symbol for some in China and Vietnam and across the globe.

The reports that Trump was served and ate the soup couldn't be independently verified by USA TODAY.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) issued a statement Monday and slammed Trump for allegedly not understanding "the plight of endangered species worldwide."

“We are dismayed at the news that President Trump was served and ate shark-fin soup during the recent state visit to Vietnam," Azzedine Downes, president and CEO of IFAW, said in a statement. "Dozens of shark species are listed as vulnerable or endangered worldwide. Actions like this undermine global conservation efforts and signal to world leaders that the US is abandoning its leadership role." 

Animals rights groups have long considered the practice of cutting fins off of sharks and dumping back them in the ocean to be on the top of their agenda. The practice, according to IFAW, kills nearly 100 million sharks each year and "has led to an extinction crisis for many shark species"

Shark-finning — catching a shark, sawing off its fin, and dumping it back into the water to die — is illegal under U.S. federal law and is regulated in more than 20 countries.

Under federal law, the possession of shark fins is not illegal. IFAW warned that shark-finning could put certain shark species at long-term risk.

"If careless actions such as these continue, endangered species across the world will continue to be driven towards extinction, rolling back decades of progress," Downes said.

Contributing: Jim Hook, Public Opinion