HSI and Jane Goodall Institute China join to protect sharks
Humane Society International and the Jane Goodall Institute China Join to Protect Sharks
Media Release by the Humane Society International
BEIJING (Aug. 19, 2011) – Humane Society International and the Jane Goodall Institute China’s Roots
& Shoots Beijing program have teamed up with the Beijing Zoo to promote shark protection with a
photo exhibit that showcases these magnificent creatures.
A wide range of Chinese animal welfare and conservation groups, media professionals, businesses
and students joined HSI and JGI China representatives at a press conference held at the Zoo to
launch the exhibit and to enlist public support for shark protection.
The exhibit, entitled “The Price Behind the Taste – Protect Sharks, Don’t Eat Shark Fins,” consists of
captivating images of sharks swimming in the ocean followed by dramatic photos of fins being cut off
of live sharks to make shark fin soup. The unmistakable message is that the human appetite for shark
fins has devastating consequences for sharks.
“Humane Society International is pleased to partner with the Jane Goodall Institute China and its
extensive grassroots network consisting of hundreds of Roots & Shoots groups across the country,”
said Iris Ho, HSI’s wildlife campaigns manager. “As the world’s largest market for shark fins, China
plays a crucial role in the survival of shark species at risk of extinction. Support for shark protection in
China is urgently needed – and this exhibit, along with our other activities with JGI-China, are a first
yet significant step to build that support.”
“Vital to healthy oceans, sharks are being overfished and their fins severed for trade,” added Lei
Chen Wong, JGI China’s executive director. “This joint campaign will help raise crucial awareness
in China about the importance of protecting sharks, and attempt to promote changes in attitude and
behavior about the commercial trade and widespread consumption of shark fins. We hope to inform
and empower the Chinese public to be an active participant in the global campaign to protect sharks.”
The exhibit is part of “No Shark Fin,” a year-long joint educational campaign by HSI and the JGI China
to raise awareness of and support for sharks in the world’s most populous country. The campaign
targets Chinese youth, particularly university students, to expand their knowledge of marine
biodiversity and the need for shark conservation, and to discourage shark fin consumption. The
exhibit runs through September 19.
– The fins from as many as 73 million sharks are used to feed the demand for shark fin soup
each year. China is the largest market for shark fins, a key ingredient in shark fin soup.
– Shark fins are sometimes harvested through “shark finning.” It involves cutting off the fins of
sharks then throwing the shark back into the ocean, often while still alive, only to drown,
starve or die a slow death due to predation from other animals. Tens of millions of sharks die
this way each year. Some species of shark are on the brink of extinction due to the cruel and
exploitative shark fin industry.
-Sharks are apex predators whose survival affects all other marine species and entire ocean
ecosystems. The practice of shark finning is global and has led to a severe decline in shark
– Unlike other fish species, sharks produce very few young and mature slowly and
consequently, overexploited populations can take years or even decades to recover.
– Several workshops on the plight of these apex predators and the importance of saving them
were held for Roots & Shoots student groups earlier this year. Participating student groups
will create projects to recruit people to take pledges to avoid shark fin products and spread
consumer awareness among their peers and in their communities. Roots & Shoots also takes
this shark protection message online, utilizing their website and social media networks to
garner support for the No Shark Fin pledge.
Source: The Humane Society International