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Fins from up to 73 million sharks are used in shark fin soup each year
An estimated 100 million sharks are killed every year with fins from up to 73 million used for shark fin soup, primarily to supply the market in Mainland China. A pair of shark fins can sell for as much as US$700 per kg in Asia. Some shark populations have declined by up to 98% in the last 15 years and nearly one third of pelagic sharks species are considered threatened by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
Our goal is to measurably reduce this consumption of shark fin in China. In 2006, when we started our shark fin campaign, knowledge of the problem in China was negligible. Surveying showed that 75% of Chinese were unaware that shark fin soup came from sharks (the dish is called “fish wing soup” in Mandarin), while 19% believed the fins grew back, and few understood the impact on shark populations.
To measurably raise awareness and concern about the impact of the consumption of shark fin soup on shark populations and marine biodiversity, we work with media network partners in China to broadcast our “Say No to Shark Fin” campaign messages via TV and other media outlets, including video boards in subway and train stations, airports, and university campuses. We have produced many high quality TV PSAs on shark fin for China with our celebrity ambassadors Yao Ming and others, including prominent Chinese CEOs. Our latest campaign features several new PSAs including sports icon David Beckham, actor and director Jiang Wen, actress Maggie Q, and NBA basketball star Jeremy Lin.
Our campaigns, in combination with government bans at official events, have contributed to a reported 50% decrease in China’s shark fin consumption.
In the upcoming year we will continue our work with governments in consuming nations, increase our restaurant and hotel partnerships, recruit more ambassadors for additional media outreach, and much more. We will also expand our reach through a merger with Shark Savers, working closely with the diving community on a global scale.
The Impact Timeline