This week, Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group and Virgin Unite, joined WildAid to swim with 300 whale sharks off the coast of Cancun to demonstrate that the economic benefits of shark tourism can drastically outweigh the value derived from killing a shark for its fins -- the lifetime economic value of a single whale shark can exceed US$2 million, compared to a few hundred dollars to kill the same shark for its fins.
In China, the Government Offices Administration of the State Council has reportedly agreed to stop serving shark fin soup at official banquets, to take effect in the next 1-3 years. The administration was responding to a proposal submitted by 30 officials from the National People’s Congress, spearheaded by delegate Ding Liguo, who announced the news on his microblog on Friday, according to Global Times.
On May 24th, the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations convened to discuss the mounting poaching crisis in Africa. Moderated by Senator John Kerry, the committee brought together prominent experts in the field to shine a light on the widespread ivory and rhino horn trade. WildAid’s unique approach to reduce demand for these products in Asia was cited as an “exemplary model”, critical to reversing the poaching epidemic.