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World’s Largest Shark Conservation Campaign Seeks 100,000 Malaysian Pledges

Over 60 companies pledge to go fin-free

(Kuala Lumpur) WildAid’s Shark Savers “I’m FINished with FINS” campaign, backed by over 650 of the world’s most influential celebrities and personalities, was launched today in Kuala Lumpur, in partnership with Mid Valley Megamall, HSBC Bank Malaysia and Malaysian Nature Society. According to a recent Traffic report, Malaysia is the 8th largest shark catchment country and is ranked 4th for shark fin imports.

More than 150 local Malaysian celebrities and personalities including Amber Chia, Azura Zainal, Sassy Falak, Rina Omar, Dennis Lau, Patrick Teoh, Aireen Omar, and Ahmad Izham Omar committed to cease shark fin soup consumption and to be a part of the campaign’s iconic black and white portrait portfolio. Organizers now seek 100,000 Malaysians to cease shark fin soup consumption.

“By pledging “I’m FINished with FINS”, companies in Malaysia can help reduce overall demand by halting shark fin soup consumption in corporate entertainment and in-house banqueting,” said Jonn Benedict Lu, Shark Savers Regional Director for Asia Pacific. “With over 60 companies committed to that vision here today, I am confident we will help drive down shark fin demand and shark catchment before it is too late. Malaysia’s opinion shapers, including politicians, business leaders, athletes, and celebrities have united to end the shark fin trade in Malaysia.”

Sharks are apex predators, crucial to sustaining balance within our marine ecosystems. If shark populations collapse, other marine species could be adversely affected. Over the last 25 years in Malaysia, it is believed that up to 80% of local shark populations have been depleted.

“Malaysia is home to one of the most beautiful and pristine marine environments in the world. The future of this crown jewel lies in the hands of Malaysians. The time to act is now,” said Andrew Sebastian, Head Communications of Malaysian Nature Society.

Corporate ambassadors are also lending support to the campaign by donating company resources. Campaign messages will appear on media platforms owned by Media Prima, Red Berry / Malay Mail, and Golden Screen Cinemas. Lotus Cars Malaysia will also auction a chrome plated “Evora” to raise funds for shark conservation. AirAsia will sponsor all work related travel for Shark Savers staff. Corporate events hosted by these campaign partners will also no longer feature shark fin dishes.

Shark Savers Malaysia also launched the “Wedding Crasher” aimed at reducing shark fin consumption at weddings. Couples, who commit to removing shark fin soup from their wedding banquet menus, will have the chance for a celebrity to “crash” and perform at their wedding. This follows the success of the programme launched in Hong Kong last year with pop superstar G.E.M. The Malaysian edition also promises a star-studded team of “wedding crashers”, hoping to encourage more Malaysian Chinese couples to opt for fin-free weddings.

Shark Savers and its international campaign partners (WWF, Earth Hour, National Geographic Channel, and Nat Geo Wild) are officially supported locally by IGB REIT, HSBC Bank Malaysia, Air Asia, Media Prima (Television Networks), Media Prima (Radio), Media Prima (Digital), Media Prima (Group TV), Redberry, Malay Mail, Durian Asean, The Boulevard - St Giles Premier Hotel, Golden Screen Cinemas, Cite Media, Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia, Lotus Cars Malaysia, The One Academy, Yahoo Malaysia, KLCC Aquaria, Silver Ant Sdn Bhd, Silver Ant PPI Sdn Bhd, World Vision Malaysia, The Sun Media Corporation, Diamond & Platinum, Body Fashion (M) Sdn Bhd, Focus Point, OTO Bodycare, Celebrity Fitness (Malaysia), ABN XCESS, F.O.S and F.O.S Kids & Teens, Eclipse, Philosophy-Men, DNP Clothing Sdn Bhd, MPH Bookstores, Sushi King, delicious, Sonic Power Station, Blackmores, Empro, Clarisound, Elianto, Memory Lane, Travel Style, Dragonfly, Dive Station, XIXILI, Shizens, MagicBird Publishing, Dreamwork Events, ORIDEA, RSH Malaysia, Tomei Consolidated Berhad, Padini Holdings Berhad, h2o+, Asian Diver Magazine, and Shunji Matsuo.

For campaign updates, including events and supporter activities, please visit the official campaign website: http://www.finishedwithfins.org/.

Please download media photos from the following link: https://sharksavers.box.com/s/bqcllpgj4knoqejldvyq

Note: Earlier this month Shark Savers’ programs and name joined WildAid’s portfolio of programs to protect endangered wildlife species including elephants, rhinos, and tigers; combining the complementary capabilities of the two organizations and increasing the efficiency of operations.