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How to be proactive in stopping sharks fin being sold


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#21 syam

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 11:18 PM

Any WP member passing through KL, please try to avoid the following hotels that serve sharkfin soup.

1. Mandarin Oriental, Lai Poo Heen
2. Shangri-La KL, Shang Palace
3. The Hilton KL, Chynna
4. Hotel Equatorial, Golden Phoenix
5. Nikko Hotel, Toh Lee
6. Renaissance Kuala Lumpur, Dynasty
7. The Ritz Carlton, Li Yen
8. JW Marriott Hotel, Shanghai Restaurant
9. Prince Hotel, Tai Zee Hin
10. Parkroyal Hotel, Si Chuan Dou Hua

Hotels that do NOT serve sharkfin soup.

1. Le Meridien
2. The Westin

Let them know why you're avoiding them.

#22 Scubaskeeter

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 07:02 AM

Shark killing cannot be stopped from the supply side with quotas, enactment of laws or education of the fishermen. It must be stopped from the demand side. When demand falls, so will the price and the incentive for these fishermen to catch sharks will no longer be there.
============================

Syam, that is the best statement I've seen on this subject, and it applies to all of the evils in the world, driven by money (drugs, guns, prostitution, rare animals etc.)

I saw shark fin soup for sale at a cheap buffett in the Hong Kong airport - bears out what Drew said, this practice is ubiquitious in China.

#23 .Greg

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 10:28 PM

This is an old thread but maybe someone will notice a new post :)

What you are suggesting regarding the hotels and restaurants is a good idea, but the impact of shark fin soup is much broader.

I have lived in China for the past year and a half and every single food store you go into has dozens if not hundreds of dried shark fins. If you figure thousands or tens of thousands of stores, then dozens to hundreds of fins per store, you are conservatively talking over a million fins in Chinese food stores at any one time. Then consider how many are sold and restocked.

For those of you in Europe, if you want to do some good while at home about this issue, boycott Carrefour. Every single Carrefour store I have been to in China has dozens and dozens of shark fins in their dried fish section. This is a European based company, not some Asian food chain who can claim it is their culture. They stock the fins only for financial gain.

If you want to have fun get a picture of shark fins with the giant Carrefour sign in the background. Then publish that back in Europe where people are more sensitive about the issue. Start a boycott Cerrefour website. That will generate some publicity for this entire movement.

Another thing, you are addressing it from the perspective of the person making money off of it (restaurant and hotel owners).

You can't just pick up a picket sign or start signing petitions, you need to consider their culture. If you try to go in and take an aggressive approach like boycotting, to be frank, all you are going to do is piss them off and they will ignore you for patronizing their culture.

I think you would get a much greater impact just educating the general public. China is now much "greener" than you would think. Not only does the average Chinese consume far less paper and plastics then the average westerner, but they are also becoming quite green aware. I am referring educated city residents, not just 'villagers'.

You constantly see pro green commercials on TV here in China. Someone mentioned that as more Chinese gain economical position they too will be able to afford or want to consume shark fin soup, but those same people are much more interested in a "worldly perspective" then just consuming shark fin soup. They tend to have a very willing ear towards conservation.

If it were me and I wanted to make an impact on this issue I would appeal to the National Geographic channel and the Discovery channel to run educational programs on the subject. Most Chinese cable and satellite packages have the channels as an option. (The programs are in Chinese, not English.)

In China every third commercial on Nat Geo or Discovery is a green message because they don't really have a lot or commercials selling products and they need to fill that space each hour. I would guess that for an hour long program, 45 minutes is content, 5 minutes are green messages, 5+ minutes are messages about upcoming programming, and the very small remaining bit is an actual "TV Commercial" as you think of them.

So the Chinese already hear a lot of green messages on a regular basis and it seems well accepted. Nat Geo and Discovery are obviously already leaning the green direction, but due to the absence of me ever seeing any information on shark finning, perhaps they are avoiding broadcasting information because they are afraid of a "cultural conflict".

If you are going to petition anyone, petition Nat Geo and Discovery, who already have the Chinese' eyes and ears every hour of every day. They must have a reason for pushing everything else green but anti shark fin soup messages, plus as eco active groups themselves they should be willing to listen. Maybe if you petition them they will tell you why they have not broadcast much about it, at least not in the past year ad a half that I have been watching.

I saw quite a few programs that you would consider "anti establishment". For example, programs on Tiananmen Square, China's pollution problems, etc. So I can't imagine that Nat Geo and Discovery are being forbidden by China to run a shark fin program, but maybe so...

#24 Afrodiver

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 01:33 PM

My brother Ben has been working for years on trying to help stop shark fin poaching. He currently is in a competition to get a National Geographic Grant (his second for shark finning) to help start a new conservation area in Central America. If anyone would like to help sharks, this is a great opportunity! Thanks!

Ben Horton - National Geographic Young Explorer

#25 bmyates

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Posted 07 November 2009 - 02:32 PM

...I think you would get a much greater impact just educating the general public. China is now much "greener" than you would think...


I was recently approached (via e-mail) by the editor of a Chinese photography magazine called PhotoWorld. They ended up doing an 8-page article about my underwater photography, which you can see here, along with a rough English translation.

Because it was my grinning shark photo that got their attention in the first place, I had an opportunity to answer a few questions about sharks. Trying to do my small part to raise awareness (especially in China!) of the plight of sharks in general, my answer to one of his questions (that was used in the article) included the following:

"Unfortunately the world’s shark populations are being
decimated as shark fins are cut off to meet people's demand for shark fin soup - sharks are caught
by ships, their fins cut off and the live sharks thrown back in the water to die. I very much hope
that my photos can help people to understand this horrific act, and influence people to no longer
eat shark's fin soup, so that the dwindling number of shark species can recover.
"


Hopefully some of China's photographers who read that article will think twice the next time they see shark-fin soup on a menu.

I also try to raise the shark topic whenever I'm asked to speak to groups about photography. I realize it's just a tiny drop in the bucket, but if all of us use every opportunity we have to raise awareness, it might start making a dent in the demand...

Bruce Yates
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#26 CamDiver

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Posted 07 November 2009 - 05:34 PM

Having been involved with the recreational dive industry for a whole bunch of years I was fortunate enough to dive in some of the best diving spots available. Sharks have always held a massive fascination for me as both in my videography line of work and also being able to interact with scientific programs during stints with Nat Geo as a field producer and field tech for their 'Crittercam' project. It always galls me to see the complete disregard for many of the shark species by certain elements of our society. The evidence is blatantly available to many and yet to them its just categorized as the rantings of a bunch of 'Fish Huggers'. I was once told there is no Chinese word for shark, whether this is true or not the majority of consumers don't actually call the dish Shark Fin Soup but more Fish Fin Soup. The fact that the fin comes from Sharks is irrelevant to most. After all the majority of people who will eat this dish will hardly ever interact with the Ocean so why should they care?

The fault, in my eyes, lies with the western multi-Nationals like Carrefour and Albertsons and Supa-Value who continue to sell shark products even after being subject to anti-Shark Finning information campaigns.

Change starts when companies such as the above realize that what they are doing is blatantly contributing to what is to all extents and purposes a marine genocide.

My 2c
Cheers,
Mark.

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#27 drsteve

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Posted 08 November 2009 - 06:10 PM

I think people are taking the wrong tact. Instead of trying to explain the environmental argument to people, if you are offered a bowl of shark fin soup you should say that you would love some but you have to decline because you are trying to have kids. When that elicits a question simply explain that since shark fin is filled with methyl mercury and PCBs it reduces fertility. Eat too much and you become impotent. I suspect that this rumor, which like all good rumors is partially true, will have a bigger impact than a thousand boycotts!

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#28 Rocha

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Posted 09 November 2009 - 08:53 AM

Haha, good one Steve. It is sad but I think you are absolutely right, I think a rumor like "sharks may cause impotence" would be much more effective than hours of lecture on how unsustainable shark fishing is...

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#29 Autopsea

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Posted 09 November 2009 - 09:08 AM

We should find a molecule to add to sharks all around the world that would give a bad desease to anyone that would eat it, and ramdomly do it all over the world, with communications actions. what if you get 3% chances to get sick everytime you eat shark product? :)

appart from saying non-sense, I think we'll do it. when you see how fast is growing ecology, MPAs, conservation actions and all that stuff, it have to be the cancer of shark finning.
let's just bring what we can in it.

#30 drsteve

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Posted 09 November 2009 - 09:23 AM

We should find a molecule to add to sharks all around the world that would give a bad desease to anyone that would eat it, and ramdomly do it all over the world, with communications actions. what if you get 3% chances to get sick everytime you eat shark product? :)


That molecule exists. It is called methyl mercury and I wasn't kidding about it's effect on fertility. Check out this brief blurb from the Centre for Food Safety in Hong Kong.

http://www.cfs.gov.h..._fsf_36_04.html

It sort of sends an odd message to serve a heaping dose of fertility killers at weddings!

Edited by drsteve, 09 November 2009 - 09:26 AM.

...STeve
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#31 Steve Douglas

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Posted 12 December 2010 - 04:24 PM

I think that many here do not remember when Master Card came up with a promotion scheme that if you used their card and spent a certain amount you got a free bowl of shark fin soup. I was writing for Asian Diver magazine at the time and passed on the info to many people who were proactive and wrote letters and emails to Master Card. MC quickly stopped the promotion.

Several months ago there was the restaurant in L.A. who were caught serving whale and, again, the proactive amongst us sent waves of protest and the restaurant closed down and some were arrested.

Last month at DEMA, there were protests regarding the serving of shark fin soup and again, the restaurant policy was changed.

All I am saying is that we as a community of divers have more power than we think as our numbers are larger than we imagine them to be. We can affect change if we try.
Steve
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#32 Scubaskeeter

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Posted 09 May 2011 - 05:41 PM

That molecule exists. It is called methyl mercury and I wasn't kidding about it's effect on fertility. Check out this brief blurb from the Centre for Food Safety in Hong Kong.

http://www.cfs.gov.h..._fsf_36_04.html

It sort of sends an odd message to serve a heaping dose of fertility killers at weddings!


When the opportunity exists among friends, I often mention that sharks are killed at the rate of 95 million per year, mostly for fin and leather, the meat goes to waste in deep water and is not usable by other animals. This is shocking news to most folks living in the landlocked midwestern USA, but they always seem interested in stopping this waste. That's when I hand out the seafood cards and encourage them to join a good conservation group that can speak for thousands of members at once.

Now here is a study of the economics of live sharks versus dead ones. Irrefutable evidence for local villagers to keep the sharks alive:
http://www.coral.org/node/5317

#33 scubamarli

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 04:01 PM

Canadians can take part in a petition available here:
divepro
You do have to print it out and mail it in by mid-August, so that it can be brought forward to the Federal Government.

Cheers,
Marli
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