Activists in Hong Kong are threatening to boycott entertainment giant Disney after it announced plans to serve shark’s fin soup at a new theme park.
Hong Kong Disneyland, which opens in September, will serve the soup at wedding banquets and special events. But campaigners say millions of sharks are killed each year for their fins, driving some species close to extinction.
The fin itself is almost tasteless, but in southern China it is regarded as a luxury. Surveys in Hong Kong suggest four out of 10 people eat it regularly and two-thirds think it is justified to kill sharks for their fins. But environmental groups such as Greenpeace and the Worldwide Fund for Nature warn the shark is one of the most over-exploited species on earth. They are urging Disney to take the soup off its menu and to do more to help to educate the public about the issue.
Disney has rejected the complaints, claiming the dish is an integral part of any Chinese banquet. The company says it takes environmental stewardship very seriously.
The activists, though, are threatening to mount a global boycott of the brand if Disney insists on serving shark’s fin soup.
Source: An excerpt from BBC News, 24 May 2005
“There is bound to be substantial publicity and media interest surrounding the themed park during the months leading up to Disneyland Hong Kong’s opening. The last thing they need is negative publicity that will leave a stain on its marketing campaign, especially if it is the consumption of a product that is clearly in contradiction to their “Environmentality” positions. This is something we can use as leverage with influence the decision makers at Disney in urging them to drop shark fins from their menus. What we need is show that the word is getting out there and for them to think it is a big enough concern to act positively to it,” – Shark Research Institute.
Please take a few minutes to write to the people below and appeal to them to remove shark fins from their menus:
1. Disneyland Hong Kong: Preset e-mail form
2. Tourism Commission of Hong Kong: Preset e-mail form
3. Group Managing Director HK Disneyland, Mr. Don Robinson: firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Hong Kong Disneyland Vice-President of Marketing and Sales, Mr. Roy Hardy: email@example.com
5. Hong Kong Disneyland Corporate Communications, Ms Irene Chan: firstname.lastname@example.org
6. Public Affairs Team: email@example.com
7. Disney Corporate Communications, U.S.: TWDC.CorpCommunications@disney.com
8. Walt Disney World Guest Communications: firstname.lastname@example.org