Fins-Best on Sharks campaign update

By Kerry Stansfield

A big THANK YOU to the following people for participating in the Fins – Best on Sharks campaign. We have heard from Dr Leong about Ren (his son) and Yein’s wedding last year, Su-Ann and Si Siew and their wedding in June 2005, Shiauway and Adam who were married last December and Yeen and Julian who are members of the Marine SIG (Selangor Branch). They were all able to offer valuable advice to those contemplating breaking with tradition and not serve shark fin at their wedding. Some found persuading older relatives challenging, others had to stand their ground with the caterer or shop around for a caterer who would satisfy their requirements. The general advice was that if you believe strongly in what you are doing, then you should not be pressurised to change your mind.

Alternatives to shark fin soup include seafood soups e.g. scallops and mushroom or another luxury dish such as venison. Some chose to explain their choice to their guests in their speech or left a ‘say no to shark fin’ card on the table, others chose not to mention their choice specifically. All who wrote in felt that they had the opportunity to make a significant difference to the conservation of shark species and the marine ecosystem by not serving shark fin soup. They felt that their wedding was not an appropriate place to serve food that may have been obtained through cruel means. Hopefully they have raised awareness of the issue and set an example for other couples planning their wedding banquet.

K.L. Kwang’s talk on sharks at December’s Great Green Promotion inspired Aundrie Yong, a Process and Compliance Analyst in Cyberjaya, to use her position as President of the Social Committee for the ‘GI Desktop, Service Quality Assurance’ department to help benefit sharks. The Social Committee decided not to order shark fin at this year’s Chinese New Year lunch and replace it with something else. It is fantastic news for a department to support the Fins – Best on Sharks campaign. Hopefully other departments and companies will follow suit.

As many sharks are caught by unregulated, unreported or illegal fisheries where numbers and species are not recorded, consumers of shark’s fin soup cannot know for sure whether they are contributing to the extinction of shark species or whether the shark fin they are eating was taken from the shark while it was still alive. We urge you to refrain from the consumption of shark’s fin and encourage you to help us inform others.

To contribute, please contact Kerry at finsbestonsharks@yahoo.com.my

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