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Q&A With Jhené Aiko

Singer speaks out against shark finning

All Animals magazine, March/April 2016

Singer Jhené Aiko’s travels to beaches and oceans worldwide have given her an appreciation for marine life, especially sharks. Though sharks are often demonized in pop culture, research shows the animals rarely attack humans and have more to fear from people than people have to fear from them.

Each year, an estimated 73 million sharks are killed to supply shark fin soup to those who consider the dish a delicacy. Dining on the fins of sharks is a status symbol in some Asian countries, but Aiko views it as “a sign of not being a compassionate person.”

In this edited interview with editor Tracy L. Scott, the Grammy-nominated artist talks about her appreciation for sharks.

Why did you get involved with The HSUS and HSI to help protect sharks?
Overfishing is bringing many shark species to the point of extinction. I think that’s really sad. I have a 7-year-old and we both love all wildlife, all animals. We love the ocean, and it would be really sad for her to grow up and only be able to see pictures of these animals.

What would you like your fans to know about shark finning?
It is completely crazy. I was shocked to know that once they cut the fins off, they just throw them back into the ocean and just leave them to basically sink to the ocean floor and die.

How would you respond to those who fear sharks and don’t necessarily want to save them?
I just think they got a bad rep and people aren’t encouraged to learn more about them. You’re more likely to get into a car accident than to experience a shark attack. Just open your mind. It’s a living creature with feelings, just like we are.

Pledge to never consume shark fin soup or use any product containing shark fin.