Fins – Best on Sharks 2007 round-up

By MNS Marine SIG (Selangor Branch)

We’ve come to the end of 2007 and many things have happened… At time of writing we have 32 pledges from companies who have agreed to NOT serve shark’s fin soup at company functions and events. It seems like a small number, but it’s a start – there are several more promised pledges and most companies that we approached say that they had no intention of serving shark’s fin soup – they just had no reason to declare it… until now.

Are you working somewhere that has the same unwritten policy? Join us in this no-cost contribution to the shark population! The more companies we can get on board, the bigger the momentum will be to encourage others to stop serving shark’s fin soup.

Of the many companies who support our little campaign, special thanks go out to Maersk Line & Maersk Logistics (Maersk Malaysia Sdn Bhd) who got everything off to a rolling start by being the very first company to sign on. Kudos also to our first resort Japamala Resort, Tioman Island and first restaurant Tamarind Springs, Kuala Lumpur who have declared that they have never ever served shark’s fin soup and never intend to.

Our biggest achievement of course was having Dato’ Seri Azmi Khalid, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment sign the pledge to declare that shark’s fin soup will not be served at all functions and events run by the ministry and its agencies.

Come 2008, we will begin to offer all campaign supporters an opportunity to hold an educational shark talk on their premises. Feel free to get in touch with us if you’d like to get involved with this too.

More and more couples have been able to convince their parents and in-laws to leave shark’s fin soup out of their wedding menus. A thousand thanks to those who downloaded our wedding card and bought the printed versions. Congratulations on your recent nuptials and thanks also for the warm notes of support that you’ve sent us in spite of your busy wedding preparations.

We are glad that our awareness efforts generated responses – whether positive or negative. It is even more encouraging to see the replies sent in by members of the public in support of the shark campaign.

There does seem to be a growing global movement to reduce our impact on sharks. Japanese researchers have been testing a gelatin-replacement for shark’s fin soup, western conservationists are pushing through their fishing regulations and more Chinese celebrities are swearing off shark’s fin soup.

Newlyweds Andre and Yvonne sent us a note of encouragement upon their return from their dive honeymoon. Sadly, their many dives around south Thailand did not reward them with a single black-tip or white-tip reef shark. This is an area where many of us have enjoyed dives with tens of sharks at any one time. Those sharks are there no longer. Andre wrote, “Trawlers were parked at the marine park every night with the bright squid lights. How to survive?”

Please do continue to support our campaign and tell as many of your friends and family members to get their companies to pledge with us. It’s only a small – free! – act to carry out. Companies, schools, NGOs, associations – write us a pledge TODAY!