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Conserve Sharks to Preserve Our Ecosystem
Updated 2014-09-14

To raise the awareness of The One Academy students on shark conservation, the Communication Manager of conservation body Shark Savers, Madame Jenny Chin was invited for a sharing in the academy. This marks another collaboration between the two, after The One Academy alumni William Sii drew shark conservation message on a Lotus Ivora for 40 hours, in conjunction with the “I’m FINished with FINS” campaign.

Jenny elaborated that sharks worldwide are now in trouble, as the little soup people savour is very damaging. Citing statistics by Traffic, a world wildlife trade monitoring network, Malaysia is amongst the top ten importers and exporters of fins globally. “Malaysia imported 6,896 tonnes of fins from 2000 to 2009, the fourth highest importer globally.” Worse, “Malaysia also caught 231,212 tonnes of sharks from 2002 to 2011,” the eighth highest globally.

Canadian researchers found that up to 100 million sharks are killed every year. As Apex Predator, the animal at the top of food chain that keeps the ecosystem in balance, the population of sharks is naturally small. With late maturity and long pregnancy of between 8 months to 2 years, sharks only give birth to around 3 to 20 babies once every 2 to 3 years.

Fishermen around the world practise “Finning”, where after the fins are cut off, the finless shark is thrown back into the sea alive, to save storage space in fishing boats. It is difficult to curb the supply, since many fishermen are poor and have huge family to feed, and a piece of fin may fetch perhaps RM 500. In line with the Masters Train Masters philosophy, Jenny stressed that the only way is to cripple the profit incentive by reducing demands.

Some accused boycott shark fin campaign as anti-Chinese tradition. Jenny informed The One Academy students that the shark fin soup was created solely for the emperor's consumption in Song Dynasty, only became popular since 1980s. Contrast to discarded practices such as feet binding and arranged marriage, which were practised by both the rich and poor for thousands of years, Jenny opined that it's unjustifiable to allege shark fin boycott as against tradition.

Bear in mind that it's socially acceptable for non-smokers and non-drinkers to decline offers of cigarette or alcoholic drinks, there is seriously no ground to ridicule those who boycott shark fin soup. If we bow to the pressure of “Why waste, since it's cooked anyway”, we will never suppress the demand!

Creative aspirants in The One Academy are truly enlightened by this sharing. As envisaged by The One Academy's result-oriented practical coaching method in nurturing caring artists, the awareness gained from the session will greatly ignite their passion to create a better world!