By Kate Good
My goodness, can it actually be that there is some positive news in the world of shark finning? Well, hunker down because there is! According to a report from WildAid, shark fin sales have fallen 82 percent in the markets of Guangzhou, China (the center of China’s shark fin trade) over the past two years.
The process of harvesting shark fins for delicacies such as soup has been nothing short of devastating to shark populations. Of the 100 million sharks killed by humans every year, an estimated 73 million are killed for their fins to be sold in markets, primarily based in China. Some species of shark have seen a 98 percent decline in the past 15 years, largely as the result of the shark fin trade.
Over the past few years, China has taken steps to end this brutal trade, banning shark fin soup from official receptions, and putting a series of anti-corruption laws in place, and it appears that it is working!
Peter Knight, the director of WildAid, explained to the press, “The more people learn about the consequences of eating shark fin soup, the less they want to participate in the trade.”
WildAid has been instrumental in seeing this action come to pass, carrying out a series of PSAs featuring basketball star, Yao Ming, that encourage the public to give up shark fin soup.
In fact, in WildAid’s report on the drop in sales, one shark fin salesman is quoted stating, “Yao Ming’s commercial impact single-handedly smashed my business.”
While we are sorry this man lost his business, we are not sorry at all that it means a significant drop in the damage being done to sharks.
This incredible report shows just how powerful our everyday choices can be. By simply choosing not to eat shark fin soup, thousands of Chinese consumers caused the demand for shark fins to drop over 80 percent in just two years. By making information available and empowering consumers to make better choices, the amount of change that can be made is seemingly endless. So keep this in mind next time you think your choices are insignificant; who knows, they could help save an entire species.