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How to be proactive in stopping sharks fin being sold

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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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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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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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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.

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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.hk/english/multimedia/m..._fsf_36_04.html

 

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

Edited by drsteve

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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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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.hk/english/multimedia/m..._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

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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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It's so heartening to see so many of you underwater mariners concerned with marine life and sharks.

You opened my eyes, I had no idea there were so many restaurants in the US serving the vile soup.

I immediately started writing scathing reviews of restaurants right here in Florida that serve it.

I am livid that so many people are so ignorant of, or uncaring of, the wanton slaughter of millions of sharks worldwide just so a few idiots can have a stupid tasteless bowl of soup. AHRG!!

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