As a follow up to our post from last year about the terribly cruel and environmentally devastating practice of shark finning for Shark Fin Soup, we’d like to share this great campaign that was spearheaded last year by former NBA super star Yao Ming.
After retiring from the Houston Rockets in 2011, Yao Ming returned to China and began a career of advocating for animal rights as a celebrity ambassador for WildAid; in particular, Yao has focused on the traditional Chinese practice of shark finning for Shark Fin Soup, which entails catching sharks, axing off their fins while they are still alive, and dumping them back into the water, where they ultimately die from starvation and suffocation, or are eaten by other animals.
Here is one of the videos Yao Ming made with WildAid to raise awareness about the cruelty of shark fin soup.
Sharks, vital creatures at the top of the marine food chain, are suffering tremendously under this practice, with over 55% of shark species now close to extinction due to excessive hunting by shark fishermen. Currently, approximately 73 million sharks are killed for shark fin soup each year. The enormous growth of shark hunting is partially due to the growth of China’s affluent middle class. As the affluent middle class in China has increased exponentially in the last few decades, the demand for shark fin soup, a dish that is traditionally a symbol of wealth and status, has increased as well.
Several U.S. states and territories have banned the sale and possession of shark fins, including California, Washington, Oregon, Hawaii, Illinois, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Mariana Islands – but there is still a dire need for legislation in the U.S., China, and around the world where the practice of shark finning continues to be prevalent.
Organizations such as WildAid,Stop Shark Finning, and Shark Truth are committed to saving our sharks from an inhumane death and preventing our marine ecosystems from suffering a devastating loss. Join them in their campaigns or just spread the awareness to your friends and family !