European Shark Week (ESW) success
A thank you to our supporters during European Shark Week
We want to say a big thank to our supporters during European Shark Week (ESW). The week was a huge success and we managed to gather over 100 signatures towards the Make the Push Shark Alliance petition that aims to close the loopholes in the current EU legislation on shark finning. We also received Newspaper coverage from the Reading Post and the Reading Chronicle, and later in the week were invited to speak on BBC Radio Berkshire where we managed to promote our own Sharks on the EDGE campaign, and discuss some of the issues affecting sharks.
A major goal of the Sharks on the EDGE campaign is to raise awareness and dispel some of the myths surrounding sharks by engaging the public through education and by giving talks on the subject matter. The film Sharkwater produced by marine conservationist Rob Stewart was the ideal way to achieve this goal due to the film’s phenomenal success since its release in 2007. It was Rob Stewart’s incredible journey to discover why shark populations were declining all over the world that unearthed the lucrative market for shark-fins and opened up the shark-finning debate. The film has won over 30 International awards and has done more for shark conservation than any legislation, treaty or action plan. Key breakthroughs include a screening of the film in 2010 in Hong Kong, the main distribution centre for the trade in shark-fins and in Taiwan, a major shark-fin nation, a law came into effect that prohibits fishermen from finning at sea and discarding the bodies overboard (currently Taiwan is the only Asian nation to have any anti-shark-fin legislation, but it’s a step in the right direction).
We have now started a campaign blog where we will be posting campaign news and updates on a regular basis. The blog catalogues all the events and activities that took place during ESW and this is where we will keep you up-to-date with our own Sharks on the EDGE campaign news.
Furthermore, we talked a lot about the supply and demand of the shark fin trade during ESW with the majority of the demand coming from Asia (95% of shark-fins are consumed by mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong) and as a result people in the West, including the UK, feel powerless to affect something that is happening half way across the world. We want to inform people that while the majority of the demand does come from Asia, there is also demand here in the UK. It was brought to our attention that a few local Chinese restaurants were selling shark fin soup and this has led us to adding a new campaign goal titled ‘Fins on your doorstep’ that aims:
To convince UK shark fin soup retailers to remove the dish from their menu.
We aim to identify retailers that sell shark fin soup in and around the UK and appeal to the managers of those establishments to remove all shark fin related products from their menus. We will keep everyone updated with our progress in due course. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to get involved and help us with the Fins on your doorstep campaign and we will send you further information.