Almost every snorkelling lover and marine life enthusiast wishes to one day swim alongside whale sharks and leopard sharks. Unfortunately, due to the growing shark fin trade, these gentle and beautiful creatures are on the verge of extinction.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation’s State of the Global Market for Shark Products Report 2015, Malaysia is the third largest importer of shark fin, and the ninth largest producer. Of these, 84% of imported fins are for local consumption.
According to the WWF Malaysia Sustainable Seafood Manager Chitra Devi G, 76% of shark fin consumers are Chinese.
This statistic does not surprise me at all.
On Chinese weddings, shark’s fin soup. There is even the perception that it is not really a feast until you have shark fin soup, and if this dish is excluded, the host risks being called stingy by their guests. It is easy to see how shark fin soup is highly symbolic of wealth and power in the Chinese culture.
Although lacking in nutritional value and bland in taste, the demand for shark’s fin continues to increase. Every year, about 26 to 73 million sharks are hunted down and killed. The 143 least populous species are already facing extinction.
When I found out how shark fins are cruelly attained, I was horrified.
After the sharks are caught, they are dragged onto the deck of boats or ships. While they are still breathing, the fishermen will cut off their fins and then release them back into the sea. These sharks then slowly sink to the bottom and die in excruciating pain. What’s more, 98% of the shark’s body is entirely wasted.
This is done because only the shark’s fin bring a good profit for suppliers.
Many people think that sharks deserve to go extinct because they pose a great threat to mankind. We might have this impression because movies such as Jaws, Deep Blue Sea, and Bait portray them as scary predators that are out to kill. In fact, sharks are very gentle, and rarely kill people. They are also an important part of the marine food chain!
Being the top predator in the sea, sharks feed on the weaker and smaller fishes, eliminating unhealthy fishes from the environment. This way, sharks prevent contagious diseases in the sea. By leaving behind the strongest and healthiest marine life, the underwater ecosystem can continue to grow and thrive.
Losing these predators on top of the food chain may tilt the balance in the marine life ecosystem.
Fortunately, society has become more aware about protecting the sharks. The Shark Savers, for example, started the “I’m FINnished with FINs” movement, and it has gained support from a lot of notable people around the world, including Malaysia, Hong Kong, China and Taiwan.
Shark Savers Malaysia has also been advocating for this “I’m FINnished with FINs” campaign throughout the country in recent years. They seek to end the consumption of shark fins at weddings, changing the Chinese perception of shark fin being a necessary part of a feast.
This movement has slowly awakened Malaysians to begin protecting the sharks. WWF Malaysia recently found that the consumption of shark fin has decreased by 44% over the past six months, and will decrease by another 56% in the next year. This is solid evidence that our awareness and advocacy towards shark protection is on the rise.
Nevertheless, this is not enough. We need to call for more people to join us in this movement. We not only want to protect the sharks, we also want to protect the entire marine ecosystem and the earth.
Let’s reject the consumption of shark fin. Where there is no demand, there are no killings.
If you are interested in the “I’m FINnished with FINs” movement, head over to www.sharksavers.org or their Facebook page “SHARK SAVERS Malaysia” for more information[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]鱼翅交易泛滥鲨鱼难逃灭绝 请支持“我不翅了”护鲨行动
热爱潜水以及海洋生物的朋友，都渴望能与鲸鲨（Whale shark）以及豹纹鲨（Leopard Shark）一起游泳嬉戏，但随着鱼翅交易的泛滥，未来这两种性情温又害羞的美丽鲨鱼很可能就要面临灭绝的命运。
根据联合国粮食和农业组织于2015年全球市场的鲨鱼产品状况报告（Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, State of the Global Market for Shark Products report,2015）中指出，马来西亚不仅是全球第三大鲨鱼产品进口国，更是全球第九大鲨鱼产品生产国，当中84%的进口鱼翅属于国内消费。
而大马自然基金会（WWWF Malaysia Sustainable Seafood Manager）经理吉特拉（Chitra Devi G）透露，76％的鱼翅消费者来自华裔。
很多人都认为，鲨鱼死有余辜，因为它对人类性命有巨大的威胁，而大家会有如此刻板的印象，无疑是来自《Jaws》、《Deep Blue Sea》、《Bait》一系列电影以及媒体大肆渲染鲨鱼袭人嗜血的形象。可事实上，大部分的鲨鱼性情温和，不仅不会随便杀人，更是海洋食物链的保护者！
而全球人类的护鲨意识已逐渐抬头，例如护鲨行动（Shark Savers）就发起了“我不翅了”（I’m FINshed with FINS）保育鲨鱼行动，已先后在大马、香港、中国以及台湾展开活动，并获得许多名人的支持。
对“我不翅了”行动有兴趣的朋友，不妨到请浏览网站：www.sharksavers.org、面子书：SHARK SAVERS Malaysia了解详情。