Taiwanese musicians Richie Ren and aMEI joined corporate leaders and WildAid in calling on consumers to support shark conservation by never consuming or serving shark fin soup. WildAid launched a series of new public awareness messages in Taipei this week where business leaders also reaffirmed their commitment to the Global Shark Pledge to help create a shark fin-free Taiwan.
“Sharks are suffering immensely at the hands of man,” said Ren, who has been actively engaged in ocean conservation since 1996. “Nevertheless, humans will suffer the most from the destruction of the marine ecosystem.”
One of the three new video messages features aMEI’s popular love song, “Hear the Ocean Cry.” As WildAid Ambassadors, Ren and aMEI are mobilizing public support to stop the buying and selling of shark fin and end its consumption.
The shark fin trade is depleting shark populations, putting many species at risk of extinction, while also causing environmental degradation and fisheries collapse. An estimated 100 million sharks are killed every year and fins from up to 73 million end up in shark fin soup. Taiwan is one of the world’s top importers of shark fins.
“It’s critical to protect sharks now more than ever for the health of our oceans and fisheries, and ending our consumption of shark fin soup while also strengthening enforcement and reducing bycatch are important actions we can take immediately,” said WildAid’s Chief Program Officer, John Baker. “We stand with Taiwan in their calls to save sharks and the ocean.”
In Taiwan, WildAid and Life Conservationist Association have been working to persuade people to stop eating and serving shark fin soup as part of an effort to protect sharks and promote ocean health.
“Global warming has caused extreme climate conditions, an increase in the number of natural disasters, and extinction of wildlife,” said Vice Chairman Ven. Chuan Fa of the Life Conservationist Association. “Yet there is a huge gap between awareness and an adequate response to the problem. The global wildlife trade is devastating our environment. It is urgent that consumers take the small step to reject shark fin products, protecting sharks, saving the oceans.”
Last year, WildAid kicked off it Global Shark Pledge in Hong SAR. In Taiwan, 100 corporate leaders have signed on to commit to a shark-free Taiwan by ensuring the dish is not served at their places of work and to encourage their peers to do the same.
WildAid recognizes Leofoo Tourism Group for taking shark fin off their menus in 2016 and hosting Taiwan’s Global Shark Pledge every year.
“Shark fin and other luxury and unsustainable ingredients are not the only choices at the banquet,” said Leofoo Tourism Group Chairman Lulu Chuang. “We extend a very special thanks to Leofoo Tourism Group for sponsoring the press event venue for three consecutive years.
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WildAid is a non-profit organization with a mission to protect wildlife from illegal trade and other imminent threats. While most wildlife conservation groups focus on protecting animals from poaching, WildAid primarily works to reduce global consumption of wildlife products such as elephant ivory, rhino horn and shark fin soup. With an unrivaled portfolio of celebrity ambassadors and a global network of media partners, WildAid leverages more than $308 million in annual pro-bono media support with a simple message: When the Buying Stops, the Killing Can Too.
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