Wildlife champion Peter Knights has been honored with a Bay Area Jefferson Award for public service. A segment featuring Knights and fellow shark advocate Julie Packard of the Monterey Bay Aquarium aired on KPIX Channel 5 News.
Knights is Co-Founder and CEO of WildAid, a San Francisco-based non-profit organization that conserves endangered species.
WildAid was instrumental in convincing Sacramento lawmakers to pass a statewide ban on the sale of shark fins.
The cruel and unsustainable practice of shark finning is responsible for up to 73 million shark deaths each year.
A federal ban on shark fins, which are most often served in shark fin soup, is currently under congressional consideration.
Since securing the shark fin ban in California, Knights has been focused on reducing consumer demand for shark fin soup in Asia.
WildAid campaigns featuring ambassadors Yao Ming, Richard Branson, Maggie Q, Prince William, David Beckham and others are having widespread impact in China, the biggest market.
Chinese government statistics show that consumption of shark fin soup declined by 80% between 2011 and 2016.
WildAid also works to reduce the demand for other endangered species products including ivory and rhino horn.
WildAid is a non-profit organization with a mission to end the illegal wildlife trade in our lifetimes. 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 global network of media partners, WildAid leverages nearly $300 million in annual pro-bono media support with a simple message: When the Buying Stops, the Killing Can Too.
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