Rachel Vickerstaff is a co-founder of the Hong Kong Shark Foundation, a local organization dedicated to raising awareness of shark conservation and of the urgent need to stop the consumption of shark products.
Rachel is today's Guest Blogger. She explains the important role that these A List Predators play in maintaining the marine ecosystem in the following Case Against Shark Fin Soup.
Sharks Atop Marine Food Chain
In many Asian societies, shark fin soup has become an increasingly popular menu item and is now standard fare at many Chinese wedding banquets.
As of 2010, 143 sharks – around one third of all shark species – were listed as threatened with extinction now or in the near future.
As apex predators sitting at the top of the marine food chain, sharks play a critical role in regulating the abundance and diversity of the different species beneath them. Therefore, removing sharks potentially has a direct impact on the health of our oceans.
At the Hong Kong Shark Foundation, we are working hard to reduce demand and to educate consumers about the reality of the current over-fishing of sharks and, in particular, of the unsustainable practice of shark-finning.
Skip Shark Fin, Win a Trip to Fiji
As just one of our many initiatives, HKSF has developed Happy Hearts Love Sharks – Hong Kong , a competition encouraging Hong Kongers who plan to marry within the year to make their Chinese wedding banquet shark fin free.
Couples who join the competition, which is open until 30 April 2012, will have the opportunity to win some amazing prizes, including a trip to Fiji, a photography package, a spa treatment, and more.
Check out the website to find out more information! With this competition, we hope that more and more people will become aware of the unsustainable practice of shark-finning and why it is important to stop the consumption of shark fin as soon as possible.
Shark Fin Activism
For those who would like to learn more about shark finning, we have also recently launched a new documentary The Tide is Turning (see above), which looks at the progression of anti-shark fin activism and the impact advocates are making around the world and in Hong Kong.