An exciting 2012 for Shark Truth – Happy Hearts Love Shark wedding campaign diverted 20,000 bowls of shark fin soup and expanded to Hong Kong; The Original Szechuan Chongqing Seafood Restaurant joined the #OceanWise and #FinFree programs as the first Chinese restaurant in Canada committing to sustainable seafood; more than 60 media coverages across Canada; and Shark Truth and its founder, Claudia Li, received multiple awards from renowned organizations. We are getting ready for 2013 – please help us to raise funding for another FINtastic year!
We are so grateful to achieve so much with so little. It is because of your continued support that we are able to make a difference within the community, including businesses, to save these magnificent yet threatened predators – Sharks!
Harry needs your help. Please visit bit.ly/give2sharks to make a donation to Shark Truth. Thank you and Happy Holidays!
Scientists from the University of Guelph found 76% of shark fins purchased in Vancouver to be from threatened or endangered species. (Read more in the CTV NEWS)
FAQ: Why is trade of shark species listed as threatened or endangered legal in Canada?
Canada is a member Party of CITES and thus, currently only recognizes three species of sharks – the white shark, whale shark, and basking shark – in Appendix II of the CITES Convention. This agreement leaves all other shark species open to international trade, including importation into Canada. As a political trade organization, CITES Appendices’ listings are subject to member country votes but each country’s governing bodies (Federal, Provincial, or Municipal in Canada) can enact their own legislation to restrict trade.
In comparison, while the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List does not provide any legal status, the organization is the leading scientific authority assessing the conservation status of animal and plant species around the world. Under IUCN’s Red List, one third of open ocean sharks are threatened with extinction, including the Hammerhead Shark and others found in the shark fin samples.
What YOU can do to help make Vancouver & Canada Fin Free:
1. Show your support for “Bill C-380 – National Import Ban on Shark Fins” by adding your name to the petition. This Private Member’s Bill, if passed, will succeed the CITES convention in protecting sharks by banning imports of sharks into Canada and stop Canada’s contribution to the shark fin trade.
2. Go Fin Free
With the holidays and Chinese New Years just around the corner, book your dinners at Fin Free Restaurants. If you are in Vancouver, show your support for our first Fin Free restaurant partner The “Original” Szechuan Chongqing on Broadway. Chongqing is also the first Chinese restaurant to sign up for the Ocean Wise program showing their commitment towards healthier oceans. Floata in Chinatown has also recently committed to going Fin Free.
Fin Free Weddings? Check out our Happy Hearts Love Sharks wedding campaign and show your support for wedding couples protecting sharks.
On November 28th, Shark Truth organized a CarrotMob dinner event at the Szechuan Chongqing Seafood Restaurant, following a press conference in the afternoon, announcing Ocean Wise’s first Chinese restaurant partner and Shark Truth’s first Fin Free restaurant partner. A full house enjoyed an 8-course seafood dinner prepared by Chongqing’s Michelin Star Chef, Robert Wong while being guided through the traditional symbolism of each dish and the sustainability of the seafood served by host, Miss Canada 2012 Tara Teng. Some highlights of the night:
A Taste of Chinese Traditions
♥ The “Original” Szechuan Chongqing’s Sans Fin Soup
The Shredded Duck Soup, made with duck and a Superior Soup Broth, was served in the beginning as the stimulator for appetite. In Chinese culture, duck is regarded as a symbol of conjugal affection and fidelity, and were often featured in the traditional Chinese paintings. The Superior Soup Broth, which takes two days to make, is the same broth used in Shark Fin Soup, making it a perfect substitute for Shark Fin Soup at banquets.
♥ Steamed Whole Sea Bream
A steamed Sea Bream was served as the last entrée – a custom in the Chinese banquet is to point the fish towards the guest of honour at the table when presented. Fish, also called “yu” (魚) in Chinese, sounds like the word for riches or abundance (餘); therefore eating fish was believed to bring good fortune. This is also why the fish is served whole, symbolizing undivided wealth and prosperity.
♥ Hand-made Peony Pastry Stuffed with Lotus Paste
The Dim Sum plate was decorated with seed-filled treats, which traditionally represented bearing many children, a symbol of prosperous family. Lotus, the main ingredient of the dish, was regarded as purity of the body, speech, and mind as one Chinese Confucian saying described: “I love the lotus because while growing from mud, it is unstained.”
Stories Behind the Sustainable Seafood Dishes
• Spicy Calamari
The squid in the calamari was made from Humboldt squid, also known as the Jumbo squid, which are caught off of the Pacific West Coast, starting from the Gulf of California all the way up to B.C. Humboldts are individually caught by hook and line, which means that there was minimal impact on habitat and bycatch.
• Deep Fried Oysters
Like most farmed shellfish, oysters are a great sustainable seafood option since they are filter feeders and eat plankton, both of which are readily abundant in the oceans and do not require any external feed.
• Emperor Style Chilli Prawns
The whiteleg prawns are farmed in the United States in inland ponds where the water is reused and treated to remove any excess waste or contaminants. With this closed system, there is limited environmental damage.
• Shanghainese Style Smoked Ling-Cod
This lingcod in the smoked dish is caught by the bottom longline method, which targets bottom- dwelling fish that reduces the amount of bycatch produced by this fishery.
• Mussels in Szechuan Bouillabaisse
These mussels were farmed. They were farmed on suspended ropes off the sea floor. This made it easy when it came time to harvest the mussels, as it simply required removing them from the ropes and didn’t impact the surrounding habitat. – Steamed Whole Sea Bream in Ginger & Onions This sea bream served was farmed in Nova Scotia. They are farmed completely on land in contained tanks rather than out in the open ocean. These contained systems are highly controlled and eliminate the risk of escape, or the transfer of disease to wild fish.
• Steamed Whole Sea Bream in Ginger & Onions
This sea bream served was farmed in Nova Scotia. They are farmed completely on land in contained tanks rather than out in the open ocean. These contained systems are highly controlled and eliminate the risk of escape, or the transfer of disease to wild fish.
For more information on sustainable seafood options, visit our partner organization’s website: www.oceanwise.ca. Ocean Wise also has an iPhone app to help you make ocean friendly choices when you don’t see their logo on menus or in stores.
Thank You Shark Lovers!
We felt deeply honoured to be joined by all the guests, including Vancouver City Councilor Kerry Jang, Richmond City Councilor Chak Au, Chef Robert Clark from C Restaurant, Toby Barazzuol from Eclipse Awards who shares our passion for shark conservation and sustainable seafood. Shark Truth is so grateful to see everyone at the CarrotMob event and it is because of everyone’s continued support that we are able to make a difference within the community and now, businesses.
We would like to congratulate our Green Chopsticks partners: Ocean Wise and Szechuan Chongqing Seafood Restaurant for the great success in establishing the first Fin Free and Ocean Wise Chinese restaurant in Canada.
A round of applause also goes to our dedicated volunteers for help make this event a success: Vivian Man, Linton Chokie, Vanessa Ding, Sofia Fujiwara, Cecile Yuen, Richard Carroll, Nathan Cheng, Tasli Shaw, Bard Suen, and Jeff Tan.
Thank you again for coming out and sharing this exciting moment with Shark Truth!
[Photo Credits: Julian Fok]