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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Chinese New Year celebrants targeted in shark-fin campaign

Begin your new year with the auspicious act of saying NO to shark fin! If you really want to 年年有鱼 then it's time to actually play a part in the conservation of our oceans.

Went to Carrefour in Suntec City last weekend and the sheer number of shark fin products was depressing! At least a few tens of thousands of sharks would have died to populate those shelves. And for such a meagre price too.

Hopefully we can get some local retailers to follow the lead of other ethical and environmentally-friendly restuarants and outlets and stop selling shark fin.
Chinese New Year celebrants targeted in shark-fin campaign
Jan 28, 2009 06:28 PM, The Star

VANCOUVER – Chinese New Year celebrations are underway and that means a feast for Asian families gathering to mark the Year of the Ox, although it's the shark that environmentalists are worried about.

While (shark fin) soup is coveted for its supposed medicinal qualities based on the myth that sharks never get sick, Chen (Shu-Jen Chen, Humane Society International) said her group is trying to educate people about the high mercury level in shark fins that's potentially harmful, especially for pregnant women.

She said Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore were the world's largest consumers of the soup but now China, with its booming economy, is the global capital. She said Vancouver and Toronto, with their high Asian populations, also see the soup on menus.

Chen said that while it's hard to convince restaurateurs to take shark fin soup off the menu, her group recently scored a major victory at the Taiwan National Palace Museum restaurant, where the delicacy is no longer served for ethical reasons.

Last week, the food distributor Loblaws stopped selling shark fin soup for Chinese New Year at its Great Canadian Superstore outlets after a campaign by (Toronto filmmaker Rob) Stewart's group Saving Sharks.

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