After 409 million years, are sharks really facing extinction for an Asian delicacy? If you ask Hawaii state Senator Clayton Hee, cutting the fins off a great white shark is no different than cutting the horn off a black rhinoceros. It's a barbaric practice, and the bounty should be treated as contraband. He's right.
Amid growing apprehension, conservationists at the International Tiger Forum are still awaiting a sign that governments are willing to turn words into action to save the world’s 3,200 remaining wild tigers from possible extinction.
Three of the UK’s leading wildlife groups – the Born Free Foundation, Environmental Investigation Agency and WildAid – fear the meeting may close without essential commitments being made by Asia’s leaders for immediate action to end all trade in tiger parts and derivatives, from all sources.
Misool Eco Resort (www.misoolecoresort.com) and WildAid announced today the creation of a 468 sq mile (1220 sq km) Marine Conservation Area in Raja Ampat, Indonesia. This has nearly tripled Misool Eco Resort’s164 sq mile (425 sq km) No-Take Zone, established in 2005. The combined Marine Conservation Area (MCA) now includes an adjoining archipelago of islands called Daram.
Campaigns featuring some of China’s biggest celebrities, including basketball star Yao Ming and actor Jackie Chan, have persuaded some Chinese to think twice about eating shark fin soup. But changing attitudes about the centuries-old delicacy, a large contributor to decimated shark populations, continues to be a challenge.
For many Chinese, the soup, which dates back the Ming Dynasty, is considered a matter of wealth and prestige, often featured at weddings and banquets. Some also believe shark fin has medicinal value, despite a lack of scientific evidence.