Shark Savers is a US-based organization created by six long-term divers with an emotional connection to the oceans, and in particular, sharks. Since 2007 they’ve been working to spread the word about how important sharks are to the delicate balance of marine life (as the highest predator in the seas they control levels of particular species which would otherwise grow hugely in numbers, causing the next level down on the food chain to be threatened with extinction).
Shark Savers have expanded their work to Asia to try to tackle the huge Sharks Fin soup industry here, and the business of hunting sharks for their fins. Research indicates that each year, the fins of up to 73 million sharks and harvested and sold, mostly for shark fin soup. In a deplorable practice called “sharkfinning”, many sharks are caught and their fins cut off before the rest of the shark is thrown back into the ocean, often while they are still alive.
I have to confess, even though I knew how the shark fins for shark fin soup are procured, at some formal dinners for weddings and other occasions, I’ve still eaten shark fin soup out of the sense of needing to follow social etiquette. However, as I choose not to eat Bluefin tuna or other endangered species (though full disclosure, I eat foie gras and veal), I’ve decided to take Shark Savers “Pledge” to not eat shark fin soup any more, and they would love it if more people would do the same! You can take the pledge on Shark Savers website – you’ll be in good company, including Yao Ming!