International conservation group WildAid and the Singapore Environment Council today launched a new report and public service campaign to raise the alarm that sharks continued to be slaughtered in vast numbers to supply shark fin soup. Analysis of trade data indicated that fins from between 40 to 70 million sharks are being used annually for soup.
WildAid's new partner, KMTP32 World Channel, is now showing our PSAs in their primetime schedule, bringing our conservation messages to the Chinese community in California's Bay Area.
World Channel is a diverse and multi-faceted entertainment company that provides quality in-language entertainment to Chinese communities in key cities across North America. We would like to extend a special thank you to World Channel as their generous donation of airtime will be instrumental in reaching out to the Chinese American community.
Two new successful raids against marine species brokers took place in Puerto Ayora, in the Galapagos. The first one was February 22 which found 554 lbs of dried sea cucumber and allowed the capture of one person while the second one took place February 23 and found 180 lbs of dried sea cucumber. One person was arrested within the second raid.
On February, 7th, 2008, the Environmental Police in clandestine collaboration with WildAid seized 126 kilos of sea cucumbers valued at $18,900 in the city of Guayaquil, Ecuador. The operation which began in Galapagos took over one month to develop and resulted in the arresting of three individuals: Henry Villamar Ortega (42), Jose Macias Cuenca (28) and Jose Solarzano Vera (32). Sea cucumber populations have been overexploited in recent years and there is currently a moratorium on the harvesting of sea cucumbers.
The Galapagos Islands are a place of unsurpassed beauty and home to an abundance of wildlife. In addition to spectacular vistas, there are over 3,000 species of marine plants and wildlife. Visitors to the area may encounter sea lions at play, slow moving tortoises, iguanas, and sea turtles and other native creatures - all living without fear of predators. But the ecosystems are extremely fragile, and the boost in tourism has become a threat to the unique flora and fauna of the Galapagos.