July 2, 2012
Humane Society International Praises China’s Monumental Decision to Save Sharks
Government to stop serving shark fins during official functions
President and CEO of Humane Society International Andrew Rowan issued the following statement in response to the announcement by China’s State Council on shark and ocean protection:
“The news that the government of China will stop serving shark fins marks a watershed moment for the global movement to protect sharks and pushes China onto the world’s stage as an emerging leader in shark conservation. Humane Society International applauds the major decision taken by the Chinese government today that will reduce demand for shark fins and demonstrates China’s commitment to shark and ocean protection. For two years in a row, members of China's National People’s Congress and the Chinese National Political Consultative Conference urged the government to reduce shark fin consumption. Now, China’s State Council has declared that within one to three years it will draft and issue guidelines instructing all levels of government agencies to stop serving shark fins as part of meals at all government functions. HSI praises Legislator Ding Liguo, the chief sponsor for the motion made last year, for his leadership and efforts. As the world’s largest market for shark fins, China holds the key to the survival of many shark species.”
- HSI has ongoing public education campaigns in China, such as partnering with Roots & Shoots Beijing Office of The Jane Goodall Institute China in raising awareness and support for sharks. HSI also works closely with local non-governmental organizations and advocates and supports their efforts to reduce China’s market for shark fins.
- 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.
- Tens of millions of sharks have their fins cut off and are thrown back into the ocean, often while still alive, only to drown, starve or die a slow death due to predation from other animals. Some species of shark are on the brink of extinction due to the cruel and exploitative shark fin industry.
- Sharks are apex predators who are slow to reproduce and 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 populations.
Media Contact: Rebecca Basu, 240-753-4875, firstname.lastname@example.org