By Serina Rahman
More than half of 2008 has shot by and Selangor Branch Marine SIG’s Fins – Best on Sharks campaign is trundling along as we concentrate on reaching out and speaking to more groups of people in person. In the past 6 months, we’ve given talks and held exhibitions at several events, companies and schools – in the hope that increasing awareness will get more people thinking about their food choices.
For those who are not within reach of our email shark bytes, Selangor Branch Marine SIG has been working to discourage people from eating shark’s fin soup by sharing the truth behind the much-misunderstood shark and the critical importance of the species to our marine ecosystem and in the long-term, our own future.
Now that PA is a nationwide newsletter, we hope that other branches might be interested in getting involved. In Selangor, we’ve been asking companies to pledge not to serve shark’s fin soup at company functions. We also have individual pledges for students to gather signatures. (This in itself is an educational tool as the students have to explain the facts to others before they get the pledges). And in line with our focus this year, we have been particularly active in going out to give talks.
The response to our talks has been positive and we are happy to do more of the same in the future. While our slides would be too huge to send out to those interested in doing the same in your own states, we’d be more than happy to email our facts and statistics for you to create a presentation that you are comfortable with. The easiest way to get involved, however, is to encourage companies and organisations to pledge. We always emphasise that we are NOT asking for money from them – instead, we are simply asking them to commit to how NOT to spend their money.
Information kits are available for you to use and our websites might also be helpful. In future, we hope to take this campaign to another level, reaching out to wedding planners, other NGOs and local authorities. If you are keen to support this effort in your part of Malaysia – do send us an email.
Every time one more person says no to shark’s fin soup or other shark-based food and products, the economic reasoning behind the unnecessary slaughter of sharks will be reduced. It’s not difficult to do – get in touch with us today!
For more information on the Fins – Best on Sharks campaign, log on to http://mnsmarine.blogspot.com or to visit our Wedding Website, click on http://mnsmarine.tripod.com/wedding/. To get in touch with us about the pledges, hosting a talk at your organisation, your future shark-free wedding or to get involved, write to Serina at firstname.lastname@example.org.