We like Shark Savers and we think that you should too. We just received their 2013 end-of-year summary, here is an extract about their Shark Fin Soup campaign.
Our campaign to stop shark fin soup consumption
WildAid (partner of Shark Savers) has been running media campaigns in China, ground zero for shark fin soup, for more than 10 years. We partnered in 2009-2010 to produce a television message with former NBA star Yao Ming (right) that aired more than 2,000 times on CCTV, China’s largest television network, that was accompanied by a website and over 1,000 billboards in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou. WildAid messages reach hundreds of millions of television viewers across China. Total value of donated media in China surpassed $130 million in 2012.
I’m FINished with Fins, Shark Savers’ campaign to curb consumption of shark fin soup, launched in April 2012 in Singapore. I’m FINished makes rejection of shark fin soup socially acceptable, after research indicated that many people wanted to stop eating shark fin soup but felt social pressure to continue to serve or eat it. Until recently, Shark Savers focused this campaign on the three big trading hubs for shark fin: Singapore, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.
Now, we have combined the momentum and magnetism ofI’m FINished with Fins and WildAid’s formidable network of media, government, and business relationships in China to enable the campaign to effectively reach the shark-fin consuming communities of China and Southeast Asia.
The campaign features poignant black & white photos ofhundreds of celebrity ambassadors blocking his or her mouth, a sign of rejecting the soup.
I’m FINished with FINs is reverberating among consumers through social media and major television networks: China’s CCTV, National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo Wild (our major media partner); Hong Kong’s TVB, ATV, i-Cable, and RTHK; Singapore’s MediaCorp, and MioVideo/SingTe; and Malaysia’s MediaPrima, RedBerry, and Astro.
Through a partnership with China’s Sina Weibo social media platform, WildAid’s China facing website allows supporters to upload their own photographs, in the I’m FINished hands-over-mouth style, as a pixel in a mosaic image of a shark. As a result, hundreds of thousands of supporters posted a photo or comment in just the first few weeks.
Achievements for the Shark Fin Soup Campaign:
- The Chinese government announced that it would ban shark fin from all state banquets within three years, a response to the campaign and calls from the National People’s Congress.
- The Hong Kong Government pledged to stop consumption of shark fins at official entertainment functions as part of an effort to adopt sustainability-conscious food consumption, spurred on by efforts by us and other organizations.
- Shark Fin trade and consumption is plummeting:Reports in China, Hong Kong, and Singapore indicate the shark fin trade has declined by as much as 50% in the past year, partially attributing this change to awareness campaigns by environmental groups.
- Awareness campaigns result in people declining shark fin soup, according to an August 2013 survey by iResearch:
- 85% of respondents in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Chengdu stopped eating shark fin soup in the last 3 years.
- Awareness campaigns were the biggest reason why they stopped.
- 91% think the Chinese government should impose a ban on all shark fin trade to help save shark species.
- Shark fin prices in Tanjung Luar (the largest fishing village in Lombok, Indonesia) are down 80% since 2007. ($36/kg in 2013 vs. $178/kg in 2007) [Paul Hilton, Aug 2013].
We need your continued support more than ever.
There is no question that our shark fin soup campaign educated and motivated people throughout Asia to stop eating the soup. The shark fin trade is in a serious slump as a result. Our campaign is now reaching a crescendo with hundreds of celebrities and hundreds of thousands of supporters, most of whom joined the effort in the past few months. This campaign must be sustained to make the initial results permanent.
While we achieved new protections for several shark and manta species at CITES, true success will only be had with new protections in the range states. We are focusing efforts in Indonesia, the world’s largest shark fishery and one of the two largest manta fisheries. Progress is visible there to a degree never expected, but this will be a long fight.
Donating to the shark, manta, and marine protection programs of WildAid/Shark Savers is a good conservation investment.
Our campaigns to stop consumption of shark fin and manta gills in Asia are heavily leveraged by our receipt of millions of dollars of donated media placement. Our efforts to curb supply through our manta and marine protection programs are highly focused to achieve measurable results to preserve vulnerable shark and manta populations and their habitats.
By donating, you will help us educate consumers, protect sharks and mantas, and expand marine programs.