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Bags of shark fins. Credit: Jessica King/Marine Photobank

Keeping shark fins on sharks

Posted on: 18.04.12 (Last edited) 25 April 2012

Fauna & Flora International supports No Shark Fins Singapore campaign

A new campaign that aims to see the end of shark fin soup consumption by 2013, has officially been launched in Singapore.

Instigated by Ocean Geographic and supported by Fauna & Flora International (FFI) and a large group of NGOs, No Shark Fins Singapore is setting out to turn the tide on the Asian delicacy.

Shark numbers around the globe are declining at an alarming rate, due in large part to the high demand on shark fins for shark fin soup.

Dr Stephen Browne, Fauna & Flora International Manager, Singapore said, “The number of sharks that die in such a terrible and wasteful way for such a needless product is shameful and needs to be stopped. FFI is endorsing the No Shark Fins Singapore campaign because Singapore has become a regional leader and innovator, well positioned to exert influence in encouraging the rest of Asia to follow. Shark fin soup just isn’t good and isn’t needed in the 21st century.”

Credit: Carley Bansemer

It is thought up to 73 million sharks are killed every year for their fins. This is a devastating blow notonly to shark populations, but also to the marine ecosystem these apex predators keep in balance. Without sharks in the oceans, the entire marine ecosystem will eventually collapse. Worldwide, nations are beginning to see the impact a declining shark population has on the overall health of their reefs, which in turn impacts their economy. As a result, many have begun to declare shark sanctuaries in their waters and several governments have banned the sale and possession of shark fins.

The campaign looks set to ensure Singapore, being one of the leading economies in the world, becomes the first country in Asia to introduce a ban on shark fin products.

No Shark Fins Singapore’s strategy is to start with education and awareness raising, garnering support from both individuals, schools and corporations, and finally concluding with lobbying the Singapore government for a ban on the import and sale of shark fins.

Singapore is a modern cosmopolitan city with immense influence over the rest of Asia. With Singapore taking the lead in setting an example for the rest of the region to follow, the goal of keeping shark fins off the table and on the sharks, looks like a real possibility.

Written by
Ally Catterick

Ally worked in media management and PR for clients including comedians Eddie Izzard and Ed Byrne before becoming Publicity Manager for the Melbourne International Arts Festival. Strategy and communications for conservation organisation Greening Australia and her role as Unit and Company Publicist for production company Roving Enterprises followed, until she was introduced to FFI upon their arrival in Australia in 2008. Ally became a founding board member – until moving to the UK to become the organisation's Communications Manager. Ally is now FFI's Deputy Director of Communications and oversees all communications for FFI globally.

Other posts by Ally Catterick
Fauna & Flora International (FFI) is a company limited by guarantee, incorporated in England and Wales, Registered Company Number 2677068. Registered Charity Number 101110
Fauna & Flora International Australia (Ltd) is a company limited by guarantee, and recognised as a Charitable Institution (ABN 75 132 715 783, ACN 132715783)
Fauna & Flora International Inc. is a Not for Profit Organisation in the State of Massachusetts. It is tax exempt (EIN #04-2730954) and has 501(c) (3) status
Fauna & Flora International Singapore is a public company limited by guarantee, Registration Number 201133836K. Registered charity under the Singapore Charities Act