Global Shark Fin News Update

Some important updates on shark fin from around the world:

Stop Shark Fin in HK Government Banquets

Mr. Donald Tsang, please say no to shark fin soup in your policy address“ is a campaign by a coalition of shark organizations (Bloom Association, Hong Kong Shark Foundation, Shark Rescue, WWF, Shark Savers, Greenpeace, HKPCSD, Green Sense, and Oceanic Love) that seeks to halt the consumption of shark fin soup at all Hong Kong government banquets.

Left to right:Claire Garner, Director, Hong Kong Shark Foundation; Audrey Eu, Legislative Council Member and Civic Party leader; Rachel Pang, Hong Kong Shark Foundation; Rachel Vickerstaff, Director, Hong Kong Shark Foundation

On September 19th, they held a press conference at the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondence Club to urge the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, Mr. Donald Tsang, to make stopping shark fin soup one of his top priorities. Oh yeah, they also dressed up like sharks and held Hong Kong’s second ever protest about shark fin soup!

AHHHH! A shiver of extremely informative and well mannered sharks.

Environmentally motivated costumed shenanigans and extremely focused campaigning is not the only thing “Mr. Donald Tsang, please say no to shark fin soup in your policy address” is interested in. On Saturday October 9th they put together their very own flash freeze mob.

Shark Flash Freeze Mob [Photo’s of the event from Alex Hofford Photography]

Act Now

Go to the campaign’s Facebook page and “Like” it to show your support for the “Mr. Donald Tsang, please say no to shark fin soup in your policy address” campaign.

US Bill on Shark Finning Being Blocked

US Senator grandstands while sharks suffer

Left: Harry Reid, shark advocacy baditude; Right: Tom Coburn, obstructing democracy

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) tried to introduce a bill that would have closed a loop hole in previously passed legislation that prohibited the finning of sharks only to be blocked by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) on September 20th. Reid said,

Because of a loophole in the existing law, animals are still caught, their fins are severed and the dismembered shark is thrown back in the ocean to die…But they don’t die. They suffer a horrible and protracted death. All that cruelty for a bowl of soup.

After Reid made this impassioned plea to the rest of the Senate, Coburn placed a hold on the bill so that it could not be voted upon.

His reasoning for this obstruction of civil discourse?

He claims this bill, and several other humanitarian bills, were only put forward to service special interests. He also cited the United States’ current financial woes as a more pressing matter that is only delayed by addressing issues like shark finning.

The claim about special interests is simply ridiculous. The idea that there is a shadow anti-shark finning industrial complex trying to deceive the electorate and influence government  is farcical and in direct opposition to the truth. The only industrial complex is the one getting rich off the slaughter of sharks.

Also, holding up bills and stoking partisan sentiment is what stop legislators from legislating, not an attempt at governance.

No, this little legislative spat can be wholly chalked up to the Senate elections which are quickly approaching in November. Republicans have everything to gain by exercising obstructionism and focusing on the financial crisis, while embattled Democrats try every last ditch effort to invigorate their base through the passage of popular legislation (ie. wildlife protection).

Act Now

Tell Senator Coburn to stop blocking this important bill and protect sharks from the cruel shark finning industry (anybody can send a message, you don’t have to be a US resident).

If you’re a resident of the good ole USA and tired of partisan politics, please write a letter to your senator and tell them that passing The Shark Conservation Act is good for sharks and even better for humans. There is also a petition for the internationally concerned.

Close the Shark Finning Loophole in the EU

In 2003, four EU Member States ranked in top 20 shark fishing countries of the world with Spain being a leading supplier of shark fin. Although the EU has a ban on shark finning, the money-hungry shark finning industry is pushing to create a loophole that would further risk the health of shark populations.

Photo Credit Justin Ebert

Act Now

Tell EU MEPs to close the loophole to the nasty sharkfin industry (anybody can send a message, you do not have to be a resident of the EU).

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.