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Shark fin soup at DEMA


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#1 adamhanlon

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 04:25 AM

Hi all,

Sterling and I reported that one of the restaurants in the Las Vegas Hilton, where most of the DEMA delegates are staying, has shark fin soup on the menu.

For those of you that are here in Vegas, we are planning a protest against this tomorrow. Please, and this is a plea, come down to the Imaging Resouce Center towards the end of the day. Everybody counts in this so please come down.

For those of you who aren't here, please email the Las Vegas Hilton. I have prepared a form mail below, please just add your name!

The email address to send it to is ovrienk@lvhilton.com

TO THE MANAGER:

Dear Sir/Madam.

It has come to my notice that the restaurants in your complex at Las Vegas serve products made with shark fin. This supports a brutal and inhumane industry that kills one of natures apex predators in order to extract a tasteless piece of cartilage. It would seem that as a progressive company, you simply shouldn't condone nor support such practises.

If you continue to serve shark fin products in your restauarants, I will do my level best to ensure that my trade and business go elsewhere in the future.

I would appreciate a response to this mail in order for you to say that you have read and understood my point of view.

Yours sincerely


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#2 Drew

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 05:42 AM

Shouldn't you also get DEMA's management to join in? They can easily boycott LV Hilton. But then again almost ALL the chinese restos have shark fin on their menu for their chinese clientele.

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#3 Timmoranuk

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 09:53 AM

This is an automatically generated Delivery Status Notification.

Delivery to the following recipients failed.

ovrienk@lvhilton.com

:)
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#4 Steve Williams

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 10:10 AM

Shouldn't you also get DEMA's management to join in?


Great idea Drew,

Info from the DEMA website; http://www.dema.org/displayboard.cfm

DEMA's Board of Directors;
Stephena@tusa.com, charliebush@cramerdecker.com, jeff.nadler@padi.com, dorr@dan.org, neal@nealwatson.com, driscinti@dema.org, jim@oceanconcepts.com, marketing@sunsethouse.com, tim@caradonna.com,

Neal Watson is the head of the DEMA show committee.

From the DEMA By-laws found here; http://dema.org/asso...rentVersion.pdf,

ARTICLE III. PURPOSES AND OBJECTIVES.

The purposes and objectives of the Association shall be:
a) To promote the advancement of the diving industry, to promote and encourage the growth of diving activities, and
to enhance the growth and public enjoyment of the sport of diving.
b) To establish continuing business education programs to aid industry members, their officers and employees.
c) To facilitate the exchange of information among industry members, through experts, manuals and conferences,
on such subjects as quality control, general industry statistics, governmental regulations, product standards
and/or certification, standardized methods of keeping books and records, and related topics of industry interest.
d) To support the diving industry with communication services, media relations and resources.
e) To support the diving industry in monitoring and communicating on legislation that impacts diving and to represent
the industry before the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government throughout the United States
and in foreign jurisdictions.

f) To support the diving industry in the monitoring and protection of the environment through education and
activities.


How about something like this;
Gentlemen,
I know you share with me an abiding love for the ocean so I was appalled to learn that the DEMA organization choose to hold it's annual show at a hotel that is contributing to the destruction of our ocean by serving Shark fin soup at it's restaurant. It is sadly ironic that in the same complex where DEMA held it's awards ceremony, the Hilton was charging $55 a bowl for the very creature the worlds dive organizations spend so much to promote.
I would hope and encourage you to do a much better job in the future of selecting your show locations. I would also encourage you to use DEMA's clout to help the hotels and resorts you work with to choose a different path. I would appreciate a response to this email and earnestly hope you can understand my point of view. Please gentlemen, this cannot continue.

Very sincerely,


I hope that all the Wetpixel sponsors who are members and pay dues to the DEMA organization let their voices be heard.

Steve

Edited by Steve Williams, 20 November 2010 - 10:22 AM.

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#5 Timmoranuk

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 11:11 AM

Good job Steve! Have the Hilton turned off their email as mine to them bounced..?
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#6 Steve Douglas

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 11:20 AM

I am out of the country right now but have checked in. Horrid that this is happening and I just sent them my email of protest. It hasn't bounced yet but will let you know.
Steve

ps. Yes, the bounced notice just came in. Is there a different email address we can use?

Edited by steve, 20 November 2010 - 11:21 AM.

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#7 Timmoranuk

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 03:17 PM

Just in from Tom Ingram - Executive Director, DEMA.
===========================================================================
Dear Steve and Tim:

Thank you for bringing this issue to our attention. We wholeheartedly agree with your concerns, and the following statement has been issued from the DEMA Board of Directors:

It has been brought to the attention of the DEMA Board of Directors that certain restaurants in the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel, host hotel for this year’s DEMA Show 2010, feature shark fin soup on their menus. DEMA joins the diving entire industry in its condemnation of the practice of shark finning.

There are many criteria taken into consideration when selecting hotels for the DEMA hotel block and heretofore restaurant menu selections have not been part of the decision making process. Going forward, DEMA will commit to using our business influence to change this item if it appears on menus in restaurants associated with future DEMA Show convention facilities.

Thank you again for your assistance and concerns.

Tom Ingram
Executive Director
Diving Equipment and Marketing Association
=======================================
10/10 for Tom and DEMA
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#8 Marjo

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 05:59 PM

The email address publicity@lvhilton.com appears to work. Can't imagine their PR folks could ignore an email storm regarding this issue.

#9 adamhanlon

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 08:40 PM

Hi all,

I tested the mail address and it does seem to work, so sorry if you are having problems. I got the mail address from the staff here at the hotel. If anyone can find/chip in with alternative ones (Hilton Corporate maybe) that would be great.

We have widely published the issue today around the show floor, and we have had groups of people registering their protest with the restaurant's management all evening.

Great stuff with the response from DEMA. I met with Cathy Church today and she has also agreed to make noise about it from within DEMA and diving halls of fame etc.

Adam

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#10 Steve Douglas

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 02:40 PM

I sent another email to the publicity@lvhilton.com address a couple of hours ago and so far it has not bounced.
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#11 adamhanlon

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Posted 25 November 2010 - 07:49 AM

Just to report back what happened last Saturday.

Rather than go into the restaurant as one group, we asked people to go in small groups, be seated, consult the menu and then leave telling the staff that they would not eat in an establishment that serves shark fin.

At an imprecise count, about 250 people in total did this!

I gather this issue was raised at DEMA in 2008, and yet they went back.... For those of you who have sway with DEMA, please make your voices heard. I know they aren't going back to the Hilton in 2012, but I do think they should have a policy of ensuring that their venues are as environmentally conscious as possible. The spectre of the NOGI awards taking place practically next door to a restaurant serving shark really is (or should be) a public relations disaster.

Adam

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#12 loftus

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Posted 25 November 2010 - 01:07 PM

I get a bounce back on that email
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#13 Drew

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Posted 25 November 2010 - 01:44 PM

Don't give up. Complaints worked at several big hotels :

http://wetpixel.com/...showtopic=19997

Bellagio removed Shark Fin from due to protests from just a handful of customers and Wynn was about to open. They did not want to lose these rollers. :) Although I hear that it can be requested, it beats being on the menu.
Wynn did the same thing when certain rollers complained. Sometimes you don't need a big protest but just a surgical hit! :)

Next will be Mirage's FIN restaurant.

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#14 scubaseven

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Posted 01 December 2010 - 10:55 AM

Here is part of the reply I got from my email:

After careful consideration, the Las Vegas Hilton is in the process of removing shark’s fin soup from the menu in our Chinese Restaurant.
Hope is never lost, but often given up.

#15 Marjo

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Posted 01 December 2010 - 11:07 AM

Yay! We CAN make a difference!

Now let's spread the word that INVASIVE LIONFISH caught in the Caribbean is the perfect substitute and much trendier option, for shark fin soup. The Lionfish meat is very tasty and it also does great things for "manly strength" (yes, I know this to be a fact from "personal research"). The lionfish meat is "exclusive" because the aggressive and impressive looking lionfish are hard to catch. The added bonus is that we don't mind at all if these fish are hunted to extinction here in the Caribbean, as they don't belong here. Also, it is commonly known that "lionfish makes locks dem grow faster!"


From Las Vegas Hilton today:


From: "LVH Publicity"
Date: December 1, 2010 14:27:42 AST
To: "Marjo Aho" Subject: RE: Are you really condoning shark finning?


Dear Marjo,

The management at the Las Vegas Hilton places tremendous value in the feedback that is received from our guests. Our resort has a rich history and has built a strong reputation on creating a positive experience for all our guests. After careful consideration, the Las Vegas Hilton is in the process of removing shark鈥檚 fin soup from the menu in our Chinese Restaurant.

We appreciate your comments and opinions and look forward to another opportunity to serve you.


Thank you,


Katrina Nabong

Executive Assistant

Las Vegas Hilton


Edited by Marjo, 01 December 2010 - 11:08 AM.


#16 Scubamoose

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Posted 01 December 2010 - 11:46 AM

Here is part of the reply I got from my email:

After careful consideration, the Las Vegas Hilton is in the process of removing shark's fin soup from the menu in our Chinese Restaurant.


Great news!!! :D
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#17 xariatay

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Posted 01 December 2010 - 09:04 PM

:D :P
If you are in Singapore, choose Fairmont & Swissotel The Stamford, these hotels do not serve shark's fin.
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#18 Drew

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 12:09 AM

Update on the situation here:

http://wetpixel.com/...showtopic=38906

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#19 Drew

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 12:17 AM

:D :P
If you are in Singapore, choose Fairmont & Swissotel The Stamford, these hotels do not serve shark's fin.


Xaria
The Szechuan Garden served shark fin a couple of years ago when I went, and we left after reading that in the menu and of course notifying the manager. When did they change?

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