I started the “Stop Shark Finning” project a number of years ago after reading an article written by George Monbiot in which he mentioned the practice of shark finning, and how it was responsible for the deaths of millions of sharks each year. It seemed almost unfathomable that such a barbaric and wasteful act could be occuring with such frequency and with barely a mention in the media. We rely on the TV, internet and newspapers for our information about what is going on in the world, but it seemed that in this case particularly, we were being kept in the dark about something that was (and continues to be) of truly horriffic proportions.
I am not a diver or a marine biologist, nor am I a shark expert (although I have learnt much about these majestic creatures along the way, as well as, regrettably, about the business of finning). My motivation with this project was firstly and foremost to do what the media was not doing – simply to get the message out about shark finning, to make people aware of what was going on. In this respect I like to think the project has been successful – when I started this I used to get people contacting me every other day saying that they had never heard of this before and expressing their shock and anger. That still happens sometimes, but not nearly as often. In the last couple of years especially, environmental groups and individuals have really put a lot of energy into getting laws passed, either to stop the practice of finning, or to ban the shark fin trade altogether, as well as asking companies and governments to take action to protect sharks.
The fact that there have been a number of relatively high profile successes does not mean we can be complacent. There is still a long way to go. If shark finning were to stop today it would likely take hundreds of years for shark populations to recover, but with overfishing happening pretty much everywhere it is likely that populations will never recover. However there are glimmers of hope. Groups are starting up in Hong Kong opposed to the practice of eating shark fin soup, there have even been rumours that some in the Chinese government want to regulate the shark fin trade.
So my second aim is to continue to campaign for an end to the shark fin trade. To this end, the site is meant to be a place where people can find information about actions they can take to protect sharks, whether it is sending a letter, signing a petition, or attending an event. I have dedicated and continue to dedicate countless hours of my time to posting information related to shark finning, and the campaign against it, both on this website and on Twitter and the Stop Shark Finning facebook page. If you are doing something to help sharks and stop shark finning, please send me the information, I will be happy to pass the information along. I have also contacted many organisations, companies and politicians, asking them to play their part in bringing this awful trade to an end.
Donations are not solicited or accepted. StopSharkFinning.net is not an organisation or charity, it is a personal endeavour, one person trying to stop a barbaric and cruel trade and inspire others to do the same. If you would like to donate money please send it to one of the many organisations that is working to protect sharks and the oceans such as Sea Shepherd, Wild Aid, the Shark Trust, Bite Back and Shark Savers.