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Shark Fin Soup

Laws couldn't stop this ... so it's up to you!

Laws couldn't stop this ... so it's up to you!

Posted 7 October 2014   by Amy         Permalink | 2 Comments

Tags: fishing, sharks, shark fin soup, hunting, action, pledge

First, he's hooked and brought to the surface, unable to breathe. Then, his fins are brutally sliced off. Finally, he's tossed back into the ocean like rubbish -- where he'll sink to the bottom, and drown :( It’s a horrific way to die, and the animal who washed up on a Queensland beach on Monday probably suffered this cruel fate.

shark finning

Finning a shark at sea is illegal in Australia but laws are difficult to police. Sharks like this hammerhead are in danger of cruelty because of demand for their fins. These fins are used in shark fin soup, a popular Asian dish that is now available in restaurants throughout Australia.

While shark fins are still allowed to be sold in Australia, more sharks are at risk of suffering this same cruel death. It’s time to BAN the sale of shark fins -- and you can help do it!

Here's three things you can do to help protect sharks from finning:

  1. Sign the pledge to never buy shark fin soup.
  2. Contact your MP and let them know that the only way to protect sharks from finning is by banning the sale of shark fins in Australia.
  3. If you see shark fin soup being sold, take a moment to politely get in touch with the restaurant -- in person, or by sending an e-mail or message via social media -- to ask them to take shark fin off the menu and help protect sharks.

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Happy Chinese New Year!

Happy Chinese New Year!

Posted 10 February 2013   by Anthony         Permalink | 6 Comments

Tags: ducks, hunting, sharks, shark fin soup, cats, adoption

The Chinese New Year has arrived with a bang! It's now the Year of the Snake, and next year will be Year of the Horse. But what about all the animals who don't get their own "year"? Here's three suggestions for other animals who totally deserve to have their own "year" too. See if your fave made the grade!

Cats

Somehow, cats don't already have their own year! Try explaining THAT to this cat who acts as a guide to a blind dog in Wales!

Blind dog and guide cat

You can show some love for cats by taking the pledge to always adopt, rather than buy when you're looking to welcome a cat into your family. With tens of thousands of cats killed in Australia every year because there just aren't enough homes for them - your personal pledge is a promise to save a life.

Ducks

Duck Next week will see duck hunting season start in South Australia. The blood will also flow in this cruel "sport" in Tasmania and Victoria starting in March. (WA, Qld and NSW - you're cool, duck hunting is banned in your states.) You can stick up for ducks in two powerful ways. Firstly, you can send a message to state pollies letting them know you're against duck hunting. And secondly, if you're in Victoria, you can join other volunteers from the Coalition Against Duck Shooting on a duck rescue team. With your help, hopefully soon we'll have a Year of the Duck, and not a Year of Duck Hunting!

Sharks

I've heard of Shark Week - but when are we going to get a Shark Year?! These majestic sea animals have been around since dinosaurs were stomping about, but now some species are at risk of total extinction. One of the major reasons for this alarming fact is the practice of shark-finning. The photo here is of 18,000 (!!) shark fins drying on a roof top in Hong Kong.

Shark fins on roof

The need to do something about this has already been recognised in some countries. For example, Costa Rica has totally banned the mutilation in its waters. You can raise awareness of shark-finning amongst your buds by getting active on Facebook and Twitter. Sharks have been around for millions of years - don't let them die out on our watch!

Why not make 2013 the Year of Animals in general? Celebrate them every day by choosing not to eat them! Find out how easy it is here - and prepare to have the best year of your life!

Which animals do you think deserve their own year??

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Man rescued at sea by unlikely hero.

Man rescued at sea by unlikely hero.

Posted 15 October 2012   by Anthony         Permalink | 9 Comments

Tags: sharks, shark fin soup, amazing, hunting

A man lost at sea for almost FOUR MONTHS has told of his amazing rescue story. And the hero of this story is one you may not expect! (SPOILER: it's not a mermaid.)

The drama unfolded off the tiny island nation of Kiribati (it's kind of in between Australia and Hawaii). Local policeman and vowel-hoarder Toakai Teitoi headed off on what was meant to be a two hour boat trip to a neighbouring island. Long story short - he didn't quite get where he wanted, and 2 hours in a boat became 106 days! I hope he had something to read.

On Day 106 though, Toakai's luck changed. Curled up at the bottom of the boat under some shade, he heard a scratching and bumping against the hull. Peering overboard he saw a six foot shark circling the boat. When the shark had his attention it swam off.

This is what happened next, in Toakai's own words:

"He was guiding me to a fishing boat. I looked up and there was the stern of a ship and I could see crew with binoculars looking at me. Of course I was able to wave frantically at them and they came and picked me up. If that shark hadn't nudged me awake the crew of the boat might have thought I wasn't in trouble and might have carried on sailing past me."

According to Toakai, that shark saved his life!!

In 2012, approximately 200,000 sharks are killed by humans ... every day! That would mean that while Toakai was adrift on his boat, 21 MILLION sharks were killed. And yet this shark rescued him. That's a pretty forgiving shark!

A major contributor to the death-toll is the slaughter of sharks for their fins as part of the shark-fin soup industry. This fact about shark-finning really shook me up: all 14 shark species most common in the shark fin trade are now at risk of extinction.

If that's not bad enough, the Western Australian government is planning to shoot endangered sharks that swim too close to the shore. Under their plan, instead of being rescued by a shark, Toakai may have tried to shoot it!

I guess the simple point to make here is this: A shark saved a man's life, you can return the favour. Send a pre-written letter to the WA premier letting him know what you think of his plan. Then help other sharks by raising awareness of shark-finning amongst your buds.

Because you never know when you might need some help from a shark yourself ;)

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Holy carp. A vegetarian shark!

Holy carp. A vegetarian shark!

Posted 24 May 2012   by Anthony         Permalink | 1 Comment

Tags: fish, sharks, shark fin soup, go veg, vegetarian shark

End of week pop test. (Don't stress, it's easy.) Which one of the following statements is false?

a) There's a vegetarian shark in the UK.
b) Great whites like AC/DC.
c) Fish don't feel pain like us.

The false statement is ... C! Fish definitely feel pain; great whites apparently like classic Aussie metal, and a shark called Florence is eating her veggies!

Florence, a nurse shark in England, has recently joined the growing movement toward eating cruelty free, and now chooses to chow down on only vegetables. Florence must have good taste as she particularly likes celery, cucumber and lettuce, which sounds suspiciously like what I'll be having for lunch today. Maybe we could organise a lunch date?

Florence made the switch to vegetarian eating after surgery to remove a rusted hook from her jaw. Perhaps she's wised up to the dangers involved in eating meat? (ok... ok... the truth is that Florence will in fact need to start eating meat again to be healthy, but fortunately, you and I definitely don't!) After all, carp have been reported to change their behaviour after an experience with hooks, and trout can remember how to avoid fishing nets months after their first experience with one. And I thought Nemo was pretty smart because he could talk!

Fish experience a whole range of the same sensations that other animals do. A hook in the mouth hurts. Suffocating to death is as awful as it sounds for us. And when fish are brought to the surface too quickly, the change in pressure causes eyes and organs to explode. More and more people are realising the stress and pain caused to fish by recreational and commercial fishing.

The underwater world really is an amazing place. There's sharks who can bark like dogs; tiny creatures that light up whole waves; and fish using rocks to open clam shells. If you want to take a small step to protect some of our marine mates, you don't need to buy them tix to an AC/DC concert (good luck, they sell out in like 8 minutes flat). Just head here to join others in taking a stand against the sale of shark fins in Australia.

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Nemo Threatened By Extinction

Nemo Threatened By Extinction

Posted 19 January 2012   by Jesse         Permalink | 3 Comments

Tags: Nemo, fish, sharks, shark fin soup, Gordon Ramsey, fishing, bycatch

I should probably start this blog with a rant alert...

I don't know about you, but I always thought Finding Nemo was a pretty awesome movie. So I was really disappointed to hear that sales of clown fish as pets increased after the movie came out. I mean that just goes against the whole story of Nemo trying to escape captivity to get home to his family and friends

But I was even more disappointed recently to read that 1/6 of the species that featured in Finding Nemo are threatened with extinction.

I suppose it's not surprising. Aside from Nemo's clown fish buddies being sold as pets, overfishing is a big problem for all sorts of ocean animals ... and not just for the animals they're trying to catch: trawling nets often bring in huge amounts of bycatch (unwanted animals who are accidentally caught). Whales, dolphins, birds, turtles, fish and seals, can all get caught, injured and killed by nets never intended to catch them.

And then there's shark finning... Even celebrity chef, Gordon Ramsay (not known for his animal-friendly attitude) doesn't seem to be able to understand the obsession with killing sharks for their fins:

(At least on the up side, one of Asia's fanciest hotel chains recently pledged to take shark fin soup off their menus.)

I just wish that we'd cut sea creatures some slack. I'm sure they'd much prefer to live in the ocean than wind up on people's plates, in tanks, or having their fins taken from them to make soup :(

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More Nations Stepping up to Save Sharks!
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More Nations Stepping up to Save Sharks!

Posted 14 July 2011   by         Permalink | 6 Comments

Tags: Sharks, shark fin soup, activism, fish, oceans

More good news for animals abroad! Hot on the heels of other nations stepping up to save the sharks of the world, this week Chile banned the finning of sharks. But wait, it gets better! Just last week the Bahamas banned the fishing of sharks completely!

Now before the Jaws theme pops into your head (oops! Too late!), some amazing divers are out to show sharks aren't the man eating monters of movies, but in fact are actually pretty shy. Like our canine companions, sharks also have an incredible sense of smell, and wait for it, the NZ Swell Shark even barks like a dog!

So what's the sad situation with sharks? Soup! Yep, you read that right - soup! The demand for an expensive dish known as Shark Fin Soup sees millions of sharks killed - all for their fins.

Considered so much of a delicacy in China that, in a fisherman's eyes, it renders every other part of a shark's body as worthless, one bowl of the bland broth can fetch up to $400!

So fishing boats head out and catch millions of sharks. In some cases, a shark is hauled up on deck, her fins are hacked off, before she is tossed back overboard, alive, in agony and slowly sinking to her death.

Not only is this insanely cruel, but the practice has seen some shark populations plummet by 90% - sharks are literally swimming on a knife's edge!

Thankfully more and more governments worldwide are recognising this cruelty too. Other island nations, like Honduras, Maldives and Palau have also declared their seas safe for sharks, and the US states, Hawaii and Washington, and the Canadian city, Brantford have banned the sale of shark fin.

But here in Australia, you can wander into any number of Chinese restaurants and order shark fin soup straight off the menu.

So here's how you can help! If you're out for dinner and see this cruel dish on the menu, you can send a strong message by politely explaining to the waiter or manager why you are leaving. Tell them if they stop selling shark fin soup you'll be back and you'll bring your friends!

If you know of any awesome Asian eateries that have already taken shark fin off the menu, let us know below!

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