Stop Shark Finning News 2010-2011

Stop shark finning: Restaurant of the week (September 20th 2011)

Dried Shark Fins

A new initiative has been started on facebook with the aim of encouraging restaurants to cease selling shark fin soup. “Stop shark finning Restaurant of the week” focuses on one restaurant each week and asks supporters to contact the restaurant and explain to them the dangers posed by shark fin soup to sharks and the marine environment. Click here to find out more and how to get involved.

Ask California Senators to VOTE YES on AB 376 (June 23rd 2011)

ab376

The Senate Natural Resources Committee vote Tuesday June 28th on the shark fin Bill in California. If you live in California please contact your representatives and ask them to support the bill.

All calls need to be received as soon as possible.

Be sure to be respectful and give your full name and address.

Please contact the following Senators and ask them to VOTE YES on AB 376.

Member of the Senate Natural Resources Committee
Christine Kehoe (San Diego) 916.651.4039.
Lois Wolk (Davis) 916.651.4005
Noreen Evans (Santa Rosa) 916.651.4002
Joe Simitian (Palo Alto) 916.651.4011
Fran Pavley (Agoura Hills) 916.651.4023 (Chair)
Doug LaMalfa (Richvale) 916.651.4004 (Vice Chair)
Alex Padilla (Pacoima-LA County) 916.651.4020
Anthony Cannella (Ceres) 916.651.4012
Jean Fuller (Bakersfield) 916.651.4018

Ask Senator Leland Yee to support the bill to ban the shark fin trade in California (March 9th 2011)

Senator Leland Yee is opposing bill AB 376, which would ban the shark fin trade in California and it illegal to be in possession of shark fins. Yee is siting the usual spurious “cultural” reasons. Please sign the petition asking Senator Leland Yee to support the bill.

Seventh Generation non-profit group interviews Stefanie Brendl (March 8th 2011)
Guardians of the Ocean – Interview with Stefanie Brendl from Carsten Essig on Vimeo

 

Seventh Generation is a non-profit group that was founded with the aim of encouraging us to think about the long term future – not just our children, or even our grandchildren – but seven generations ahead. Such was the philosophy of the Great Law of Peace of the Iroquois, which inspired the group’s name.

Seventh Generation is involved in projects around the world; of particular interest to shark lovers is an interview they recently did with Stefanie Brendl, one of the main movers behind the Hawaii Senate Bill 2169, a bill which outlaws not the finning of sharks, but the possession of shark fins. This is the most effective way to protect sharks and to stop finning as it circumvents the loopholes associated with other legislative attempts to stop shark finning. Just being in possession of shark fins can get you a very hefty fine for a first offence.

The interview is a great read, as Stefanie gives an informative description of the issues raised by shark finning and also shows what wonderful animals sharks are. Click here to check out the interview.

Students Form Leadership Team on Shark Preservation. (February 8th 2011)

i-love-sharks-logo

Six Eastshore Elementary School students have formed a leadership team on shark preservation. A part of their project has been to develop the “I love sharks” web site. They have middle school science lessons on sharks and materials for students, teachers, and the public to write letters to their legislators encouraging them to support a ban on shark fin products like the state of Hawaii has already done.

The inspirational project has been led by Bill Brooks, a teacher at the school. It is hoped that their work will inspire other schools and students to undertake similar activities and to increase their understanding of ocean issues.

One student, Lawrence Lai, has written an article explaining the problems that sharks are facing through the eyes of a student. You can read the article here.

“Saving Sharks, Saving Us”: Event in Bangkok, Thailand on March 1st (posted January 25th)

For those of you in Bangkok, Thailand on March 1st – this is an important event designed to raise awareness of the issue of shark finning called “Saving Sharks, Saving Us”. There is a LOT going on, including a screening of “Sharkwater”. For more details visit the event page on facebook.

Eco Hustler to protest serving of shark fin soup in London’s Chinatown February 3rd (article posted January 21st 2011)

Eco Hustler are protesting restaurants in London selling shark fin on Chinese New Year (February 3rd) – they need volunteers – if you would like to do your bit and help out email ecohustler@ecohustler.co.uk. There is a brief article here.

Moves to ban the sale of shark fin soup in California (November 12th 2010)

A San Francisco journalist is currently fund raising for a story on a proposed ban of shark fins in California. You can ‘sponsor’ her story (no cost to you) by taking some surveys on the spot.us website – or drop in a few bucks of your own. Follow this link, then click the FUND STORY button to find the surveys that drop $5 in the bucket.

Tell Senator Coburn to stop blocking the anti-shark finning bill (October 4th 2010)

ethical-traveler

Just one man is blocking the total ban on shark finning in American waters: Senator Tom Coburn. The senator from Oklahoma decided to block progress of the bill, due to concerns that it will cost too much money and is a “special interest” concern. He is also blocking four other bills, intended to protect cranes, great cats and wild canines, sea otters and other marine mammals. Dr. Coburn evidently knows nothing about the oceans, otherwise he would understand that protecting the oceans will save billions of dollars. Healthy oceans are not a luxury, as Coburn seems to believe, they are a necessity – for all of us.

It seems Senator Coburn is content for American oceans to be stripped of sharks so that their fins can be used to pamper the palates of the Chinese middle class.

Please write to Senator Coburn at these email addresses:
To: tom.coburn@coburnforsenate.com
CC: team@coburnforsenate.com

Use an imaginative subject for the email.

It’s best if you write to him in your own words, but if you prefer you can copy and paste the letter below:

It has come to my attention that you are not supporting the passage of the shark finning bill. I understand that you have decided to oppose the bill because of concerns about it being a special interest bill and because of costs to the American tax payer.

Sir, I believe the oceans are not just the concern of special interest groups. They are a concern for all of us, they are a legacy for our children. Sharks are vital for a healthy ocean, and healthy oceans are vital for our planet and of huge value to all of us. Shark fins are being harvested from oceans all over the world to feed the demand for shark fin soup, a Chinese delicacy. The consumption of shark fin soup has increased exponentially over the last twenty or so years due to increased prosperity among the Chinese middle class. Do you want to let them decimate American oceans of our remaining sharks, just for a soup? I believe you are doing America an injustice by opposing bill S.850.

Further to this, I cannot imagine that the cost of this legislation could be anything other than negligible. Any cost that is involved must surely be insignificant compared with the long-term cost of allowing America’s oceans to be depleted of its sharks.

I respectfully ask that you withdraw your opposition to bill S.850.

You can also call or fax his team at the following numbers:
Washington D.C.:
172 Russell Senate Office Bldg.
Washington, DC 20510
Main: 202-224-5754 Fax: 202-224-6008

Tulsa:
1800 South Baltimore Suite 800
Tulsa, OK 74119
Main: 918-581-7651 Fax: 918-581-7195

Oklahoma City:
100 North Broadway Suite 1820
Oklahoma City, OK 73102
Main: 405-231-4941 Fax:405-231-5051

Tell Senator Tom Coburn to vote for the shark protection bill (September 29th 2010)

Senator Tom Coburn has objected to S. 850, the Kerry shark protection bill, passing by Unanimous Consent. If this bill is not passed it will be a huge setback in shark conservation. Don’t let Senator Tom Coburn turn back the clock on shark conservation. Please call him or email him:

He is on Twitter: @TomCoburn
If you have a Twitter account, please tweet this message:
@TomCoburn Pass the shark protection bill S. 850 #s850 #stopsharkfinning

He is also on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/teamcoburn

KCET Update: Shark fin soup restaurants promotion cancelled (September 21st 2010)

KCET have decided to abandon their contest/promotion of the Empress Pavilion restaurant, an establishment that serves shark fin soup, due to the number of comments and complaints they received. This sends an important message to restaurants that sell shark fin soup – it is no longer acceptable! It’s no more acceptable than selling ivory or any other “product” from an endangered species. A big thank you to everyone who emailed KCET or commented on their website, and especially to Jason Kaye for calling KCET and convincing them to do the right thing.

Tell KCET to stop promoting shark fin soup on their website (September 20th 2010)

Californian non-profit media organisation KCET are promoting the consumption of shark fin soup, and in particular the Chinese restaurant Empress Pavilion, based in Los Angeles, that offers shark fin soup on their VIP menus. They are offering a meal for six for the winner of a contest. Send a polite but firm email to KCET asking them to stop promoting establishments that serve shark fin soup.

Eating shark meat can cause irreversible neurological damage (August 23rd 2010)

It has been known for a number of years that methyl mercury is a highly toxic chemical that can cause severe damage to the central nervous system. But it’s only recently that scientific analysis has revealed the high concentrations of methyl mercury in shark meat, including, of course shark fins.

Shark fins for sale

Shark fins for sale

The Shark Project recently compiled a report titled “Methyl Mercury: The danger from the sea”. The organisation found that even small amounts of shark meat can contain dangerous quantities of the chemical. Due to its nature, methyl mercury can pass the blood-brain barrier, causing irreversible neurological damage; it can also affect unborn babies causing mutations, cancer and damage to vital organs. It also causes a massive reduction in male fertility – something that may be of surprise to those who consume shark fin soup as it is traditionally thought to improve male fertility.

Apparently nearly all the methyl mercury consumed is assimilated by the body, it is not excreted, so it just keeps building up and potentially causing more damage to the body’s organs and nervous system.

The conclusion of the Shark Project’s report is that sharks are dangerous – but only if you eat them.

For more information read the report here, or download it in pdf format.

Campaign Against Shark-Finning in Costa Rica (August 16th 2010)

The practice of shark finning has been banned in Costa Rica. But fishermen have found bizarre loopholes in the legislation that allows them to continue finning. For example, Taiwanese finning ships are now docking illegally, at private facilities, to escape the reach of the law. Ethical Traveler are campaigning to get the Costa Rican authorities to take steps to save the sharks in Costa Rica. They are demanding:

— Costa Rica’s customs laws be strictly obeyed, even in privately owned docks;

— Shark meat be properly labeled, so that consumers are not misled;

— Directed shark fisheries be banned, and shark quotas established;

— Marine Protected Areas be created in coastal waters that serve as critical habitats for sharks, and in oceanic migratory corridors between Cocos Island National Park (Costa Rica) and Galapagos Islands National Park (Ecuador).

Visit this link for more info and sign the campaign letter to show your support for sharks in Costa Rica.

 

Update: Citibank withdraws shark fin soup restaurant promotions. (July 27th 2010)

Citibank has withdrawn all of its shark fin soup restaurant promotions, both in Singapore and Hong Kong. “In response to the feedback received, Citibank has stopped all shark fin promotions in Singapore (with effect from 24 July 2010) as we are committed to conducting our business in line with our corporate social responsibilities… Citi will continue to consider the interests of society by taking responsibility for the impact of our operations and business activities on customers, employees, shareholders, communities and the environment.”

Please notify Stop Shark Finning if you come across any more similar promotions, either from Citibank, or any other company.

Citibank promotes shark fin soup restaurants. (July 23rd 2010)

Citibank recently withdrew a promotion that offered clients 15% off shark fin soup at a Hong Kong restaurant. A short campaign by Facebook activists caused the bank to quickly back pedal and see sense. However, while the promotion in Hong Kong has been withdrawn, they still have similar ongoing promotions in Singapore, including one with Thai Village Sharksfin Restaurant. The public is being asked to contact Citibank to let them know that we want all shark fin soup promotions stopped. You can contact them at these emails:
singapore.customer.service@citi.com
godwin.chellam@citi.com

F-IN FUNNY! Live near Kingston/London? Have a laugh and support Bite-Back! (May 30th 2010)

OK, if you live anywhere near Kingston, this is a no-brainer, win-win proposition for you. Have a great night out having a laugh with some of the funniest comedy talent around, and support Bite-Back, a British charity working to protect sharks. You can book online right here. But HURRY… the show is this Wednesday 2nd June!

finfunny

Help Stop Singapore’s Hotels and Restaurants from Serving Shark Fin Soup (May 26th 2010)

singapore-no-shark-fin-soup

A cause has been started on facebook with the aim of stopping the sale of shark fin soup in Singapore. The aim is to persuade hotels and restaurants to stop selling shark fin soup by campaigning, boycotting and educating people about the dangers that finning poses, not only for sharks, but for the oceans and our own health. The cause administrators believe that as a leading Asian country, Singapore should be at the forefront of environmental conservation.

Their latest campaign is to bombard DIAN XIAO ER restaurant with emails to get them to stop selling the soup.

We walked into a rather reputed Chinese restaurant chain called ‘Dian Xiao Er’. We were offered the menu and were dismayed to find that they only had the Mother’s Day set menus available, rather than the usual ala-carte menu.

There were 3 types of set menus, and guess what? 2 out of 3 options had their first soup course set as Shark’s Fin Soup. So basically, customers had either to eat there (consume shark’s fin soup) or go eat someplace else. I was really annoyed and got my family to get up and out of the restaurant, not forgetting to tell the manager there that we wished the restaurant would refrain from serving shark’s fin soup in future and that we would not be patronizing the outlet. Her reply? “Everybody serves shark’s fin soup!”

I urge you all now to please write to DIAN XIAO ER restaurant and tell them why we think they shouldn’t serve shark’s fin soup. Please feel free to mention (if you like) the Causeway Point outlet’s manager’s curt reply.

Email is enquiry@dianxiaoer.net

Please join the cause and send an email to DIAN XIAO ER restaurant!

The Sixth Extinction (May 18th 2010)

Most of the people reading this will be aware that nature is a complex web of interconnected species and dependencies – if you remove too many of the building blocks the whole structure of the living world will start to integrate and eventually collapse. Well, Erik Brush’s first book, titled “The Sixth Extinction” is essentially about that – but Erik says that sharks, as well as whales and other cetaceans, are a key element in the oceans, and that their elimination will have devastating consequences for Planet Earth and for almost all forms of life on it, including human life. Their removal, he says, will result in a massive sixth extinction.

book-sixth-extinction

In his book Erik describes the issues surrounding shark over-fishing, finning, whaling and ocean pollution as well as his proposals to stop the slaughter in the oceans, including a “WEEC” law (World Extinction Event Crime). The seriousness of the crimes being committed are such that they should be treated the same way as crimes against humanity (for that is what they are, as they could lead to the annihilation of the human race and most other life forms).

There is a lot more useful information in “The Sixth Extinction” such as tactics to use when sending letters to politicians, companies, etc, ideas for protests, killing the demand for shark fin soup and resources for ocean activists.

“The Sixth Extinction” is not a perfect book by any means – it would have benefitted from a good proof read and the elimination of some sections, such as the UN World Charter for Nature which is needlessly reprinted verbatim. But this book contains a lot of useful information and can be used as a kind of shark/whale activist’s guide. And there is no denying the passion that Erik has for the oceans, hopefully some of his enthusiasm rubs off on those that come across his work.

Forest And Bird campaign to stop shark finning in New Zealand waters (March 31st 2010)

Forest and Bird is a conservation group based in New Zealand who are campaigning to stop shark finning. New Zealand has 112 species of shark recorded in its waters. Of these 79 species are known to be caught in their fisheries, including 28 that are listed as threatened by the World Conservation Union (IUCN). Only one threatened shark species – the Great White Shark – is protected in New Zealand. On average 24,000 tonnes of shark are caught each year in New Zealand (Ministry of Fisheries figures).

Finned carpet sharks that were found in the Marlborough Sounds, photo courtesy of the Ministry of Fisheries.

Finned carpet sharks that were found in the Marlborough Sounds,
photo courtesy of the Ministry of Fisheries.

Among their short-term goals are obligating fishing companies to land shark carcasses complete, implementing a National Plan of Action for Sharks, with a 2 year review and providing full protection to basking shark, whale shark, deepwater nurseshark, manta ray and spinetail devilray. A long term goal is to ban the importation and trade in all shark products.

Read the full article here.

New Campaign: Ask China to take action to cut the consumption of shark fin soup! (March 9th 2010)

shark-fin-soup-china

A new campaign has been launched to tell China that we want to see more action to curb the shark fin trade and the consumption of shark fin soup. For more information on how to take action click here.

New video posted “Man And Shark” (March 8th 2010)

Man and Shark is a powerful, disturbing and shocking look at the shark fin trade, created by Paul Hilton and Alex Hofford. Please share this video with as many people as possible. It communicates the urgency of this situation far better than any words can.

Man & Shark

Yao Ming public service announcement from Wild Aid (February 13th 2010)

This is a Wild Aid public service announcement starring Yao Ming (the Shanghai born professional basketball player) and aimed at China, the largest consumer of shark fins.

Wild Aid also have an on-going billboard campaign in China, to publicise the problem of shark fin soup. For $100 you can fund a “Say ‘no’ to shark fin soup” bus stop billboard featuring basketball star Yao Ming. Read more here.

Save Sharks – Save the World (February 11th 2010)

That’s not idle conjecture – because according to Erik Brush, author of “The Sixth Extinction”, there is a direct link between the worldwide decimation of shark populations for the shark fin soup trade and climate change. In his book Erik describes how the removal of whales and sharks from the ocean could lead to a huge mass extinction event. The book is available here in hardback and paperback. Visit Erik’s website here.

This is dedication! (February 10th 2010)

I wanted to share this photo of Nicole’s tattoo that she posted on the Stop Shark Finning facebook page. Nicole says: “I’m honestly very proud to have this symbol because anywhere I go, if people ask me about it, I can inform them of what’s really going on out there. I live in IL, most people hate & are terrified of sharks. So I feel it’s my job to educate and raise awareness to this problem.”

shark tattoo

Petition to ban the slaughter of sharks in the Bahamas (January 18th 2010)

A petition has been launched to urge the government of the Bahamas to ban the importation of shark related items and to ban shark fishing. Please sign it here.

Stop Shark Finning 2009 Review (January 2nd 2010)

So what did Stop Shark Finning do in 2009? Well it might be a good idea to ask first of all “what is Stop Shark Finning?”, or “WHO is Stop Shark Finning?”. Well it’s a movement – a group of people who are outraged by the disgusting behaviour humankind has shown to a 400 million year old predator, and who are determined to protect it. So it’s me, but more importantly, YOU. It is hundreds and thousands of people making a stand and rejecting the stereotyped image of sharks as dangerous man-eaters. It means saying NO to shark fin soup and shark products, it means letters and emails to shark fin dealers, companies and politicians, it means educating people around us about sharks.

This year we have been successful in persuading two large business-to-business websites to remove shark fins from their sites: TradeKey and EC21. In 2010 I plan to target more sites like these because shark fins are still very easily available on the internet – just search for “shark fins” on Google. It’s pretty scary what’s out there.

We have been working to encourage action on a local level by publishing contact information for people in cities around the world who want to take the lead in taking shark fin soup off the menu of Asian restaurants. This is ongoing and we still need as many people as possible to start working on this in their local area.

We have taken part in numerous campaigns started by other groups and individuals, spreading the word via Facebook (over 5200 fans), Twitter, MySpace (over 3900 friends) and the StopSharkFinning.net website. But numbers don’t mean a thing unless those people are taking action and doing something, no matter how small, to protect sharks. So let’s make sure that 2010 is the year that EVERYONE knows what shark finning is, and that NOBODY would want to be seen dead eating shark fin soup, any more than they would eat any other endangered animal. Because without sharks the oceans are nothing and without oceans, WE are nothing. Everything is connected, let’s take care of sharks and make sure our children and grandchildren get the chance to see them in the wild for generations to come.