Every year, there are 100 million or more sharks getting killed around the world (FIU News). It is no doubt that the lives of shark are now threatened, and we must all halt fishing industries from shark finning. But do you know that shark fins are so essential to some cultures that their people just couldn’t give up consuming? Many Asian countries and cities in fact are still struggling with gaining public support for similar policies (Shark Stewards). For instance, in Hong Kong, the world’s shark fin trading hub, there are various local environmental groups such as World Wide Fund For Nature Hong Kong (WWF) have been calling for the limitation or even the ban on shark fins trading in order to maintain the balance of the marine ecosystem. Despite their effort, Hong Kong still imported over 5,400 metric tons of shark fin products and re-exported a large portion to China and Vietnam in 2013 (SCMP). Although their movements have at least gathered local citizens’ attention and triggered much controversy, they still have numerous challenges ahead in gaining major public support for the ban on shark fins trade. Since shark fin soup is so ingrained in the traditional Chinese culture, activists must convince local citizens that the plight of sharks outweighs the banqueting customs. Therefore, the social meanings and the detrimental health benefits of shark fin soup are the main difficulties activists have to confront.
One of the challenges, environmental groups face is to persuade couples to choose a shark-free menu for their wedding. “It cannot be said that most people look forward to the inevitable bowl of shark 's fin soup at a wedding banquet… but it is expected, like the double-happ...
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...s important for us to realize that as a global citizen, we are all involved as well. “It is a fragile planet, and if we don’t take care of it, and we don’t work together, then we are going to have bigger issues down the road” (Planetary Collective, “Overview”). Therefore, instead of solely relying on activists, we should be committed to the earth and at least do what we can do from now on. “Until one is committed there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness” (Gore, 859). Small acts such as stop consuming shark product and promoting to the plight of sharks to people around us can create a profound impact on saving sharks. As WWF Hong Kong spokeswoman Silvy Pun puts, “I believe changing attitudes here can make an impact on consumption across the border," Shark fin trade for sure will face extinction one day, if we are all committed to our planet.
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