Tell China Trust Hotels to stop selling and promoting shark fin soup (October 2011)
China Trust Hotels is a chain of 9 hotels in Taiwan, all of whom sell shark fin soup. They recently ran an advert in Compass Magazine (a publication aimed at ex-pats) specifically to promote their shark fin soup to foreigners. Concerned ex-pats living in Taiwan have asked for help in persuading China Trust Hotels to stop selling shark fin soup. Please email China Trust Hotels and ask them to take shark fin soup off their restaurant menus. They can be contacted via their contact page.
A sample letter is shown below, however it is better if you use your own words.
I was deeply saddened and disappointed with a recent advertisement published in Compass Magazine boasting of your shark fin soup.
Any type of large apex animal is dangerous to consume, but sharks rank highest in the amount of methyl mercury they contain. The FDA states that shark meat has 60 times more mercury that should be ingested in a daily diet. They go on to say that women and children should NEVER consume the meat. Why would you sell it? I don't think your intention is to poison your customers, however with the facts overlooked that is exactly what you are doing by selling shark fin soup?
I strongly urge you to look at this site, which shows the negative impacts of shark fin soup on your health and the environment. http://www.awionline.org/ht/a/GetDocumentAction/i/22782 Regardless of the above fact the most pressing issue is the global depletion of the shark population. Sharks are close to 90% extinct due to overfishing and the shark fin trade. By selling shark meat you are directly or indirectly contributing to the eradication of a species. Sharks help protect phytoplankton and green algae in our oceans which produce 70% of the world's oxygen and filters 80% of our CO2 emissions. When sharks become extinct due to the selling and buying of shark fin soup how will your profits be able to help yourselves, your children, and their children?
Moreover, a) it is a cruel and barbaric practice of finning live sharks and throwing them back in the ocean; (b) the shark population is falling dramatically as a result of the practice of finning (73 to 100 million murdered each year); (c) loss of sharks cause environmental damage that our children's children will suffer; (d) shark contains high levels of mercury which is toxic to humans (as mentioned earlier); (e) the time has come to change the practice as we see already it being banned in certain locations, around the world, and (f) it is a meal that is garnering significant negative press and bad publicity for the restaurants who still serve it (for example BBC Gordon Ramsey special "shark bait").
I truly hope your hotel considers the negative impact it is making by having shark fin on the menu, and the positive impact it could make if it removes it from the menu.
I respectfully ask you to follow what is right and remove shark fin and any other shark product from your menu.
Thank you for your time.