Monday, January 31, 2011

Singapore Leads Global Movement in Shark Conservation

SINGAPORE, 31 January 2011: Conservationists, NGOs and thousands of individuals are now heating up Facebook in a massive shark conservation campaign requesting supporters to change their Facebook profile picture to that of a traditional paper cut with the Chinese New Year message asking people to celebrate Chinese New Year without shark fin soup.

The campaign, launched on 26 January 2011 in anticipation of the Chinese New Year, was initiated by local shark conservation group Project: FIN and dive forum Within 4 days, word for the campaign spread to a global level, as organizations around the world unified and threw immediate support for the campaign. More than 20 organizations from Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Thailand, Africa, US, Australia & Europe has joined the campaign, turning the local campaign to an international movement for sharks.

In Singapore, ACRES played a supportive role by placing a dedicated page about the campaign on its website together with a recipe of a vegetarian alternative to shark fin soup. Vegetarian Society (Singapore) has also included the campaign in its weekly e-newsletter to members.

The shark's fin soup originated from China hundreds of years ago, where it was a dish that only the emperor could afford. The dish has only been commercially popularised in the last 30 years. During this short frame, the consumption of sharks has already caused steep declines of shark population, with some species known to have fallen over 80%.

Unlike most fishes, sharks take many years to become sexually mature and produce few young. This made them particularly susceptible to over-fishing because population recovery is not possible, as long as we do not relent on our currently aggressive hunt for sharks.

According to a 2010 study done by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the oldest trusted environmental organization that provides global conservation status of plants and animals, 17% of world's 1,044 shark species are threatened with extinction. At present, human knowledge of about 47% of shark species is data deficient. Assuming half of these 47% are threatened, this would mean that more than one-third are threatened.

Like other traditions such as feet binding and arranged marriages that have fallen with time, the shark’s fin soup is becoming an increasingly controversial dish. In fact those who have eaten shark fins before would be able to vouch that the fins are actually, tasteless. The taste of all other ingredients, is essentially, what makes the soup.

While we take pride in our Chinese tradition, perhaps the importance of cultural practices should not supersede the importance of maintaining sustainability.

Support them by joining their Facebook page here.
About Project: FIN
Project: FIN is a Singapore-based marine conservation group that was established in January 2010. It is actively involved in spreading awareness about shark finning, and works closely with numerous NGOs around the globe. Project: FIN is not a registered company and it does not solicit nor operate on funds nor donations.
About, an online forum of Singapore-based diving enthusiasts, was set up in April 2010 and is currently the only scuba diving forum in Singapore. It has approximately over 2,000 active members and enjoys over 210,000 page views each month.


At February 1, 2011 at 12:46 AM , Blogger Seawitch Artist said...

And woa betide those that keep eating the soup!...

At February 3, 2011 at 4:04 PM , Anonymous Jacob said...

Really nice blog and same for all the post these movies are not so famous but had really good stories.


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