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Press Statement: Vancouver Chinatown’s Floata Removes Shark Fin from Menu

October 26th, 2012

Vancouver, BC – October 26, 2012 – Shark Truth applauds Floata Seafood Restaurant, one of Canada’s largest Chinese restaurants, for adopting a Fin Free policy to stop serving shark fin. The announcement was made at the restaurant on Tuesday night by Vancouver City Councillor Kerry Jang at a Vision Vancouver fundraiser. Vision secured a letter of understanding with Floata stating that from September 29th, 2012, the restaurant will not be serving shark fin soup at their establishment.

Tai and Juliana’s HHLS wedding at Floata Restaurant in 2010

“Floata is to be commended for their monumental decision to remove shark fin from their menu. This policy represents a socially responsible business decision that will be praised by the community,” said Kevin Huang, Director of Campaigns at Shark Truth. “As awareness continues to grow about the environmentally damaging and unsustainable fishing practices of the shark fin trade, Vision Vancouver exemplifies how organizations, as with consumers, can also protect sharks and our oceans by choosing to work with and support businesses that reflect these changing values.”

In 2010, Shark Truth’s inaugural Happy Hearts Love Sharks wedding contest winners Tai and Juliana held their Fin Free wedding banquet at Floata with 700 guests. In three years, the Happy Hearts Love Sharks consumer engagement campaign has diverted over 40,000 bowls of shark fin soup from consumption.

“Shark Truth is excited to have Floata as one of our first Fin Free restaurant partners as we continue our work with the Chinese community – consumers and now businesses through our restaurant campaign,” said Huang. “We look forward to working with Floata to inspire other businesses to take action for shark conservation.”

Media Contact: Crystal Jiang 蒋晨, Shark Truth Communications Officer. 604-518-7416

Shark Truth is a grassroots nonprofit dedicated to promoting awareness, education and action for marine and planet conservation through cross-cultural engagement. Our unique shark conservation campaign includes the Happy Hearts Love Sharks wedding contest that rewards couples who pledge to go Fin Free at their wedding banquet. Learn more at sharktruth.org or join us at http://facebook.com/sharktruth 

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Meet Our Communications Officer – Crystal Jiang

October 10th, 2012

Crystal Jiang at Shark Truth outreach event

Welcome our new team member, Crystal! She joins our shark family with a background in communications and marketing. Crystal will help us manage media channels and write about Shark Truth’s events and upcoming campaigns. Learn more about how Crystal got involved:

Q: How did you find out about this position and what interested you about it?

CJ: I heard about the communications position through a friend, Vivian Kwong, who was one of the founders of Shark Truth. I was very impressed by how much the organization has achieved with limited resources through dedication and passion.

Q: What is your professional and cultural background?

CJ: I was born in Shanghai and moved to Vancouver a couple years ago. Prior to joining Shark Truth, I worked in the marketing and communications field for cross-cultural organizations. During my study in Shanghai, I volunteered in a local NGO to organize campaigns for AIDS awareness and prevention.

Q: What draws you to Shark Truth?

CJ: It’s the people and the vision of Shark Truth that draws me to this organization. I love to work with people that are committed to what they do. I strongly hold my Chinese culture but believe that shark fin soup does not reflect our values today and it is a dish that we should let go of.

Q: What do you hope to bring to the team?

CJ: I would like to bring more engagement and interaction between Shark Truth, local community, and businesses. I also look forward to networking with reporters for increased media exposure of Shark Truth’s upcoming campaigns.

Q: What’s one fun, random fact about you?

CJ: I enjoy Vancouver’s sun, beach and the ocean. If you do not find me in front of my computer, you will most likely to see me out on the sand chasing volleyballs.

If you are as passionate about sharks and our oceans as Crystal, please join our Shark Truth team here.

Press Statement: Vancouver Announces Regional Shark Fin Ban Strategy

September 18th, 2012

Vancouver, BC – September 18, 2012 – Shark Truth commends the City of Vancouver for their motion that calls on the cities of Vancouver, Burnaby, and Richmond to work cooperatively on a regional shark conservation strategy.

“This announcement is more than just about a shark fin ban. It’s a significant moment that represents a huge shift in mentality away from shark fin products in society. After three years of campaigning on shark finning issues by Shark Truth, we are seeing that shark fin products are becoming taboo at weddings and banquets,” said Cecile Yuen, a board member and volunteer of Shark Truth.

“Shark Truth is looking forward to working with city councillors to ensure all stakeholders who need to be consulted are part of the dialogue,” said Yuen. “We are aware that in order for bans to be effective, we must have people who are committed to conservation. We hope that city councillors will brainstorm a creative way, such as incorporating an education component, to the legislation, rather than just impose a fine.”

Shark Truth encourages city councillors to reinforce good behaviour instead of just punishing bad behaviour. For example, they can ask businesses that used to sell shark fin products to put a decal on their window and a poster inside the store stating that they have gone “fin-free” so that people know that the business they’re visiting is now free of shark products and why.

“It’s important that consumers and businesses understand the underlying conservation message – whether it is shark fin products or other unsustainable seafood items – so that they continue to make ocean-friendly decisions and save the planet for future generations,” continued Yuen.

Earlier this month, Cathay Pacific Airways announced it would stop shipping shark fins products in their cargo, in response to concerns about the cruelty surrounding shark finning and their desire to contribute to shark conservation. “With major international corporations like Cathay Pacific agreeing to stop the shipping of shark fin products, it shows the growing global movement for conservation. Although a lot more work needs to be done, we’re heading in the right direction. It’s an exciting time,” said Yuen.

溫哥華、烈治文、本拿比三市正式宣布禁止販賣魚翅

溫哥華(2012年9月18日)— Shark Truth非常高興看到溫哥華、烈治文和本拿比三市對保護鯊魚作出的共同努力。

“這項聲明不僅是一個魚翅禁令,更反應了社會民眾正在漸漸遠離魚翅產品。經過Shark Truth三年的努力宣傳,魚翅已逐漸消失在各類婚禮和宴會上。”Shark Truth的理事袁幸子說道。

“Shark Truth希望能夠與議員們攜手,確保所有利益相關者都能參與對話,”袁幸子說。“要使這個禁令真正發揮作用,我們需要每個利益相關團體的共同努力。希望議員們能夠想出一個有創意的機制去實行這項決議,不僅用罰款去處罰違規者,更要進行宣傳教育。”

Shark Truth鼓勵議員們在懲罰違規行為的同時,也應對利益相關者與大眾進行宣傳教育,並提倡及表揚模範行為。例如,曾經售賣魚翅的餐廳可以在窗戶、店內張貼“無魚翅相關產品”的標誌與聲明,讓他們的食客們都知道餐廳為環保作出的努力。

“消費者和商家應了解保護鯊魚條例背後對環境保護的訊息,使他們繼續做出對海洋有利的決定。這項條例不僅僅是保護鯊魚,更是為政府今後作出更多海洋環保政策埋下伏筆,以確保我們的下一代可以生長在一個健康的地球。”袁幸子說。

本月初,國泰航空公司也加入了保護鯊魚的運動中。該公司對鯊魚被殘忍獵殺瀕令滅絕感到惋惜,早前發表聲名,指旗下所有貨運航班不再運輸與魚翅有關的任何產品。“國泰航空這樣的國際知名品牌都參與保護鯊魚的活動,這表明了全球環境保護意識的加強。雖然還有很多工作要做,但我們正在向對的方向前進。這是一個令人振奮的時刻。”袁幸子說。

Media Contact: Crystal Jiang 蒋晨, Shark Truth Communications Officer. 604-518-7416

Shark Truth is a grassroots nonprofit dedicated to promoting awareness, education and action for marine and planet conservation through cross-cultural engagement. Our unique shark conservation campaign includes the Happy Hearts Love Sharks wedding contest that rewards couples who pledge to go Fin Free at their wedding banquet. Learn more at sharktruth.org or join us at http://facebook.com/sharktruth 

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A Passion for Ocean – Evelyn Lo

September 4th, 2012

Evelyn L.

It’s only because of our passionate and dedicated volunteers that Shark Truth is able to do the work we do. For examplemeet one of our superstar volunteers behind the scenes: Evelyn Lo. Evelyn has worked tirelessly with Shark Truth to reach out at community events, creating dialogue with those that never heard about shark finning before. Evelyn is studying Sciences at Simon Fraser University and one of her favourite animals is the Pufferfish! Learn more about how Evelyn got involved:

Q: When did you first hear about Shark Truth?

EL: It was at my Conservation Biology course at Simon Fraser University. Claudia was a guest speaker and she shared her personal testimony about sharks and shark finning in our class.

Q: What motivated you to get involved?

EL: I heard about shark finning back in high school, but never realized how detrimental the impacts were until I took a Conservation Biology course at SFU. As a Chinese-Canadian, I am proud of my Chinese culture but also recognize that in all cultures, when we see something that doesn’t match our values, we change it. As a final year student, I want to apply what I’ve learned to do my part.

Q: What is your role in Shark Truth now?

EL: I believe that educating younger generations is essential for creating long-term change because it’s these children that will hold our future. As an Outreach Coordinator, I am in charge of education and outreach. We want to give people the chance to engage with us so we can debunk any misconceptions and explain why shark and ocean conservation is important. We do tabling events and presentations at high schools, Vancouver Aquarium Summer Camps, Science Alive at SFU, and Hats Off Day Parade. The biggest education project I’ve done so far was weekly presentations at Alpha Secondary high school in Burnaby: 10 hours of presentation and student dialogue to over 200 students!

SFU Science Alive Summer Camp

Q: Why did you choose to volunteer with Shark Truth specifically?

EL: I love the people and their enthusiasm and passion for conservation. The organization is able to serve as the missing link between the Chinese community and the Western society to work on shark finning issues. I’m constantly motivated and passionate about what I do because the organization and I are all working towards the common goal of saving sharks.

If you are as passionate about sharks and our oceans as Evelyn, please join our Shark Truth team here.

 

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