John West Supplier Using Indiscriminate and Destructive Fishing Devices

Greenpeace UK have just released a video showing a destructive fishing device used by one of John West’s suppliers. The ship Esperanza found the “FAD” (Fish Aggregation Device) had been deployed by a French-flagged ship in the Indian Ocean, and that fish caught by this vessel had been packaged and sold by John West as well as French company Petit Navire.

FADs are used to attract fish to a location; these fish are then scooped up in huge nets. The target species is often tuna but many other species are also trapped and die in the nets, including silky sharks (classified as near threatened by the IUCN), whitetip shark (vulnerable), mako sharks (vulnerable) and the galapagos shark (near threatened). However, it is not just these sharks that get caught up in the catch – any animal that is unfortunate enough to be in the vicinity of the FAD will get scooped up.

Read more here.

GrubHub still listing restaurants that sell shark fin soup

Despite considerable pressure from consumers, GrubHub are still listing restaurants that sell shark fin soup (as well as fois gras, which is produced by force-feeding ducks and geese).

A petition which has now reached over 41,000 signatures is demanding that GrubHub take a responsible stand on this issue. You can also contact GrubHub by email:

GrubHub on Twitter

GrubHub on facebook

To confirm that GrubHub are still listing shark fin soup, click here.

At the moment shark fin soup is listed in all areas except those where it has been made illegal. As one of the world’s major food ordering companies, GrubHub should take an ethical and sustainable stand and immediately remove both shark fin soup and fois gras from all its listings.

Indiana Kids Educate School About Shark Finning

Shark Art (Shakamak Elementary School, Jasonville, IN)

Jasonville art teacher Amy Campbell recently gave her 5th graders an art lesson with a difference. Amy introduced the Shakamak Elementary class to the controversial issue of shark finning – the practice of hacking the fins off living sharks which are then thrown back into the ocean where they die a painful death. The children were outraged by what they discovered and were keen to let other students and teachers know about shark finning via their art work.

Below are some examples of the students’ art which was displayed in the school hallway.

Thank you to Amy and the kids at Shakamak Elementary for educating others in their community about shark finning.

Teachers and educators: would you like to tell others the truth about sharks? Do you want to expose the myth that all sharks are maneaters? Do you want to educate your class about shark finning?  Visit the links below to access a comprehensive range of teaching materials for all ages:

Shark Trust – Education and Awareness

Shark Trust – Spreading Awareness About Shark Finning

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Public Pressure Brings Forward New Zealand Shark Fin Ban


Tiger shark photo (Albert Kok)

Tiger shark photo (Albert Kok)

Public pressure has convinced the New Zealand government to put in place a shark finning ban earlier than anticipated. The ban will come into effect on October 1st and will make it is illegal to kill sharks solely for their fins. The law applies to all species of sharks.

New Zealand waters are home to 113 species of shark so the country has a pivotal role to play in the conservation of sharks and the oceans.

Currently the Animal Welfare Act bans the slicing off of shark fins and dumping the still living shark back into the ocean; the new law strengthens shark finning legislation by also making it illegal to dump dead fin-less sharks back into the ocean.

The new law does not make it illegal to kill sharks if their carcasses are fully utilised. It will, however, enable better monitoring of the numbers of sharks that are being killed. More information is available at the New Zealand government’s Ministry for Primary Industries website.

24 hrs left to show your support for massive marine reserve!

shark usfws

Photo credit: Wyland, USFWS Headquarters

There are just 24 hours left to show your support for the creation of a huge marine reserve in the Pacific Ocean. The fishing lobby is fighting hard to get the plans for the reserve watered down – so let’s tell President Obama that this is a vital step towards protecting marine life. Show the US government that people care about the oceans!

Over a million people have signed so far – add your name now.

Sign here!

Who is killing sharks in the Atlantic?

blue shark

Millions upon millions of sharks are being killed in the Atlantic by European fishing vessels, with just one country – Spain – accounting for a massive 57% of reported landings. Other countries involved in the overfishing of  Atlantic and Mediterranean sharks include Portugal, France and the United Kingdom. Despite the shocking number of sharks being killed it is believed that the actual number is likely to be three or four times greater than official figures suggest, due to many sharks being discarded in the ocean as unwanted catch (or bycatch). It is estimated that between 2002 and 2012 EU nations accounted for over 40% of global shark catch.

The majority of sharks are caught by pelagic long liners while fishing for the target species of tuna and swordfish. With shark meat being eaten in some Mediterranean countries, as well as the continued demand for shark fins, shark cartilage capsules, liver oil, and other uses, fishing companies are now seeing it as commercially viable to land sharks. This means there is now less incentive to stop catching sharks, as they are moving from being “bycatch” to “target catch”.

The Shark Trust has set up a website called No Limits? No Future which is aiming to both inform the public and gain widespread support for science-based limits on the number of sharks that can be caught. A petition has been launched which urges national governments, the European Commission and Regional Fisheries Management Organisations to stop uncontrolled shark fishing. Sign it here.


NOAA Proposal Could Negate Hawaii Shark Fin Ban

Recently removed shark fins.

Recently removed shark fins.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – the agency responsible for “fisheries management, coastal restoration and supporting marine commerce” – believes that Hawaii’s shark fin ban is incompatible with federal fishing rules. They could turn back the clock on shark conservation by introducing an amendment to the Shark Conservation Act that would negate Hawaii’s ban on the shark fin trade.

Hawaii was the first state to prohibit the shark fin trade back in 2010 and since then several other states including California, Oregon and New York have also abolished the trade. The Pew Charitable Trusts have introduced a petition to support Hawaii’s shark fin ban.

Sign the petition here.

Hilton Worldwide To Ban Shark Fin from April 1, 2014

Hilton Worldwide recently contacted to inform us that they have taken the decision to ban shark fin in all owned and managed properties across Asia Pacific by April 1, 2014.

Hilton Worldwide says:

Today, we announced Hilton Worldwide will cease serving shark fin and stop accepting new orders for shark fin dishes by April 1, 2014. The ban covers all restaurants and F&B facilities operated by our 96 owned and managed properties across Asia Pacific and puts us on track to ban shark fin in all restaurants and F&B facilities operated by our portfolio of 645 owned and managed hotels globally.

StopSharkFinning first contacted Hilton Worldwide about this issue in July 2012. Initial contacts were promising but progress was slow and repeated requests for updates yielded no concrete results other than promises that the issue was being looked at. A petition was set up which was signed by over 4,000 shark lovers with the hope that the extra bad publicity would move the issue forward with greater urgency.

Although it has taken longer than we wanted, we warmly welcome this announcement. It is yet another important voice speaking up for sharks – one more organisation saying it is not OK to fin sharks. Hilton Worldwide can now join the ranks of other prominent companies in China, Hong Kong and the Far East who have banned shark fin – companies like Shangri-La, Swiss-Belhotel International, Cathay Pacific and Korean Air Lines

We would like to thank Hilton’s Vice President of Corporate Responsibility Jennifer Silberman who was instrumental in bringing this issue to the table at Hilton. Since the issue was brought to our attention many other individuals and organisations have also pushed for Hilton to take a stand – we thank those involved for their dedication and hard work and for making this happen.

Have your say on the shark cull in Western Australia

This alert was received today from the Australian Marine Conservation Society. Please leave thoughtful comments saying why you oppose the shark cull.

“When the Premier of Western Australia, Colin Barnett announced a cull of sharks late last year, he failed to consult the public.

Opposition to the cull has been enormous.

Thousands of people have attended protests in WA and around the country. More than 14,500 signed our petition to Premier Barnett. Hundreds of people donated to our billboard in the Premier’s electorate.

Pressure is building on the WA Government to stop the cull.

The cull has been referred to the WA Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), which is now calling for public comments to help them assess the environmental impacts of the cull.

Finally, we can have our say.

The EPA can allow the shark cull to continue, rule it out as environmentally unacceptable, or suspend the cull while a full environmental impact assessment is undertaken.

Tell the WA Environmental Protection Authority they need to rule out the shark cull as environmentally unacceptable.

Select Assess – API category B (environmentally unacceptable)

And tell the EPA why. Some dot points are below to assist you:

  • The shark cull policy amounts to an intentional mass cull of a number of different shark species. This threatens some of our most vulnerable marine wildlife
  • There is no scientific evidence that mass killing of sharks reduces shark bites
  • Sharks are apex predators, a vital part of our oceans that keep the natural balance to ensure we have healthy oceans
  • The WA Fisheries Department’s own Risk Assessment states that the drumlines will have no impacts on sharks population, but the express intention of setting the drumlines is to reduce the number of sharks by catching and killing them
  • The cull targets reproductively important sharks. For species threatened with extinction, this will likely have a significant impact on population numbers now and in the future
  • The drumline hooks are allegedly designed to only catch large sharks. This has proved ineffective and a large number of small (<3m) sharks have been caught and killed
  • The baited drumlines may also catch other threatened species besides sharks, including dolphins and sea turtles”

Click here to have your say.

Please hurry – the submission period is short. We have until 20 February to have our say.