The residents of Maogang looked on in despair as first dozens, then hundreds, and ultimately 10,164 dead pigs were pulled out of the Huangpu River.
“We don’t dare drink the river water,” said one villager. The township government has had to bring in a week’s worth of drinking water.
It’s a new problem, but the causes – waterway pollution and failures to manage rivers across administrative boundaries and government departments – are old complaints.
“Dead pigs have always ended up in Shanghai. This time they just went there by river, instead of by truck,” said one Shaoxing pig farmer, pointing at a porcine corpse.
Illegal selling of dead meat
It was only two years ago that pigs started to be dumped in the river. “In the past you could sell them, so they didn’t end up in the river.” The pig farmers all referred back to a court case two years ago, which shocked the city.
Everyone in Shaoxing knows about the case, which saw 17 people tried. In November 2012, the three ringleaders were given life sentences.
It was a typical tale for a pig-farming village. Dong Guoquan and two others ran an illegal butcherhouse, buying in dead pigs. “They got them cheap, one yuan or so per jin.” One farmer explained that a young pig which died of illness would weigh less than 50 jin, an older one no more than 100 [one jin is half a kilogram].
But that didn’t do business any harm. The city’s intermediate court found that in only two years Dong and the others had bought and butchered 77,000 pigs and sold the meat on for 8.65 million yuan. Most of them came from the townships of Fengqiao, where the village is, and Xinfeng.
“Once they’d been arrested nobody wanted to risk buying up dead pigs openly,” 57-year old villager Guo Yue (not his real name) told Southern Weekend. His village of Zhulin, in Xinfeng, is famous for supplying pigs to Hong Kong.
But that meant more pigs were getting thrown in the river. Environmental protection staff in the Songjiang district of Shanghai said they’d taken a trip up river all the way to a concrete plant in Pinghu, Shanghai. Traces of dead pigs were visible all along the route.
A worker on a dredger boat in Caoqiao, Pinghu, said that on March 17, when they had already been working for a week, his boat was still pulling out over 20 pig carcasses a day.
“We do it every year at this time,” said a Zhulin villager responsible for the work. The fishermen all change jobs for a while and start catching pigs.
A Zhejiang environmental protection report in 2011 found that 7.7 million pigs were being farmed in Shaoxing. On average 2% to 4% will die, which means between 150,000 and 300,000 corpses need to be disposed of.
“If dumped, they cause bacterial and viral pollution, as well as 20,000 to 30,000 tonnes of chemical oxygen demand,” the report said.
But, still, there are no provisions for proper disposal in place. Many officials – including Chen Yunhua, village secretary in Zhulin; Yuan Liqiang, deputy neighbourhood head in Caoqiao; and Dong Yue, deputy neighbourhood head in Yuantong – said that it was only in 2011, that Shaoxing saw any large scale construction of disposal pits.
But it’s been nowhere near enough. Zhulin is a major pig farming village, but Chen Yunhua explained that there are only seven pits, with an eighth being built.
Others pointed out that one pit can handle three to five thousand corpses. But according to the Shaoxing Daily, 18,400 pigs died in the village in just the first two months of the year. Capacity is overstretched. “The rest just get dumped in the fields or the river,” the villagers say.
Officials try to limit pig farming
A Shaoxing government report admitted that: “the dumping of pigs which have died of illness happens to varying degrees in all districts of Shaoxing.”
“The dead pigs weren’t a big problem in the past, it was pollution from the farming,” said Wang Yubing, deputy at the Pinghu Environmental Protection Bureau. Pinghu borders the Shanghai district of Jinshan and is upriver of the city, and pollution from pig farms further upriver in Nanhu and Haiyan damage water quality.
“The biggest pollution problem for Shaoxing is poultry and livestock farming,” said Xu Luzhong, an inspector with the Zhejiang environmental authorities, when he visited the city. Pig excrement, slurry and the corpses dumped all over mean that the beautiful water town is giving off a bit of a stink.
“There are 130,000 farmers raising over 7 million pigs. Each pig excretes as much as 6 or 7 adult humans,” said Yu Hongwei, deputy of the city’s environmental bureau.
“The government are trying to limit numbers, persuading us to change jobs,” said Chen Yunhua. To cut pig numbers, in 2011 the city set up zones where pig farming was banned or limited, including in Zhulin: “By 2015, pig numbers will be reduced from 7.5 million to about 2 million.” And no pigs may be farmed within 200 metres of minor waterways, and within 100 metres of more important ones, Chen said.
This was intended to improve worsening water quality. A source with the Shaoxing environmental authorities said that despite the measures the city accounted for two of the locations named and shamed when the provincial bureau checked water quality province-wide. Both the urban centre and the wider city had water of sub-Class 5, the worst level of water quality.
And this pollution ends up in the Huangpu River. National People’s Congress representative and professor at East China Normal University Chen Zhenlou said that agricultural chemicals from upstream threaten water quality.
Shanghai relies on water from outside its boundaries, a major headache for its government. It has never managed to do anything effective about upstream pollution.
“The waterways in Shaoxing are just so complex it’s a struggle to monitor them,” complained Ren Weiliang, deputy of the Pinghu water authorities. There are 3,458 waterways in Pinghu alone, stretching for 2,256 kilometres.
And pig farmers are usually very small operations, which makes them harder to regulate. Yuan Liqiang says that most of the farmers in his jurisdiction are households keeping pigs in their yards. There’s so many of them that “sometimes it really is hard to keep control.”
The way waterways are managed is also being re-thought. Ren Weiliang explained that in the past the port, urban, water and environmental authorities were all involved.
“Sometimes they see waste floating downstream but can’t do anything,” said Ren. Pinghu is considering changing the way that works. And to solve problems with cross-boundary coordination the Shaoxing water authorities have set up mechanisms in Xinfeng, Fengqiao and Caoqiao, with boundary rivers being divided up into stretches assigned to different towns.
But those efforts don’t connect up with Shanghai. Zheng Zheng, director of Fudan University Basin Pollution Control Research Center, said that it is currently easy for blind spots to arise between upper and lower stretches of rivers. Shanghai is powerless to regulate its rivers upstream. “We can’t enforce the law, or issue punishments,” Zheng said.
“When pollution crosses boundaries, people try and pass the buck,” Zheng continued. In the end nobody knows who should pay. “A tracing mechanism would solve it.” He went on to explain this would mean 24-hour monitoring, so “as soon as you notice something coming from upstream, it’s the upstream government’s problem – as for which specific body or authority, they can figure that out themselves.”
But water quality on the upper Huangpu – a long-standing source of drinking water – has long been badly damaged. “Water quality on other tributaries was Class 5 or worse as far back as 2004,” recalled one official who participated in a meeting on preventing pollution in important watersheds that year.
Maogang is located by an important source of water, but is still powerless. On January 10 this year, two months before the pig scandal, a leak from a boat carrying chemical containers forced the nearby pumping station to halt work.
To avoid these risks, Shanghai has been forced to look for alternative ways to quench its thirst. “From the sources of the Huangpu to building the Qingcaosha Reservoir at the mouth of the Yangtze, Shanghai is looking for safer water,” said Chen Zhenlou. But the Yangtze isn’t any safer, and its water quality it also under threat.
So Shanghai is even looking at desalinisation. The latest idea is to take water from Qiandao Lake in Zhejiang – “more than 2 billion cubic metres a year.”
• Originally published in Southern Weekend. With contributions from Southern Weekend intern Wang Yue.
- China loves pork too much… (environmentaleducationuk.wordpress.com)
- Life in Zhejiang’s ‘cancer villages’ (wantchinatimes.com)
- GRAPHIC PHOTOS: Over 12,500 Dead Pigs Retrieved From China’s Waters (huffingtonpost.com)
- CHINA: With 6,000 Dead Pigs in River, Troubling Questions on Food Safety (environmentaleducationuk.wordpress.com)
- China’s ‘Hogwash’ Getting Worse As Floating Dead Pigs In Shanghai River Rise To 3300, Pig Virus Found (infiniteunknown.net)
- Shanghai Authorities Insist Water Is Safe, Despite Floating Pig Carcasses (theepochtimes.com)
Cites summit votes for strictly controlled permits to export fins of oceanic whitetip, porbeagle and three species of hammerhead. The Guardian reports
The millions of sharks killed every year to feed the vast appetite for shark-fin soup in Asia now have greater protection, after the 178 nations at the world’s biggest wildlife summit voted to crack down on the trade.
Those fishing for oceanic whitetip, porbeagle and three species of hammerhead shark will now require strictly controlled permits to export the fins. The move is a landmark moment for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) because many previous attempts to protect marine species – including these sharks – have failed, largely due to opposition from Japan and China. Those nations argued other bodies have responsibility for fisheries, but their opponents, including the EU, US and Brazil, said Cites is far more effective and conservation campaigners were delighted. Manta rays also won new protection.
“Dealing with fisheries is always hard due the huge economic and political interests involved,” said a delegate from one of the world’s top fin-exporting nations. She added the cultural attachment to serving shark fin soup at weddings in China – now affordable for millions more in the country’s swelling middle class – was very strong and very hard to break: “It would be like telling the French not to have champagne at their wedding.”
Sharks are highly sought after but are slow to mature and have few offspring, making them extremely vulnerable to overfishing. The culling of 1 million oceanic whitetip sharks every year has resulted, for example, in its Pacific population crashing by 93% between 1995 and 2010. Today the species was given protection in a close vote that just achieved the two-thirds majority required.
The porbeagle, once sought for its valuable meat especially for European markets, also saw a population crash, dropping 85% from 1981 to 2005 in the north and west Atlantic. In 2010, the EU had to halt fishing due to the tiny numbers left. The porbeagle shark lost out on protection in 2010 at Cites by one vote, but this summit, being held in Bangkok, saw a much wider coalition of 37 nations backing the shark proposals.
The fins of the scalloped hammerhead are among the most valuable of all and it is estimated that 2 million a year are killed. They are one of the rare sharks to school together, making it easy to catch large numbers. The Cites summit also voted to protect the great and smooth hammerhead sharks, because their fins are very similar and could have been targeted if only the scalloped hammerhead was protected.
Previous Cites meetings had seen similar protection proposals for sharks rejected, but new support from Latin American and west African countries, and the promise of cash from the European Union to help change fishing practices, won the day. The decisions could be reopened for debate at the final plenary session of the summit and potentially overturned. If, not all the measures will be implemented after an 18-month period in which enforcement measures can be set up.
Scientists estimate that about 100m sharks are killed by humans every year, representing 6-8% of all sharks and far above a sustainable level.
The shark fin trade is a global one, with Hong Kong at its hub, where 50% of all fins end up. Ten million kilogrammes of shark fins are shipped to its port every year, from 83 countries. Spain and Indonesia the leading sources, but other top 10 nations include countries such as Argentina, Nigeria, New Zealand and Iran.
One-third of the 450 known species of shark are endangered by overfishing, but the species protected on Monday are the most valuable and sought after. Vessels are often officially fishing for tuna or swordfish but can in fact catch far more sharks, particularly the oceanic whitetip shark. By finning the fish at sea and throwing the bodies back, single trips can results in many thousands of dead sharks.
The impact of the huge fishing fleets of Spain and France has been particularly severe on the porbeagle shark, whose meat is sold for a high price, and it has fallen by more than 95% in the Mediterranean an 90% in the north-east Atlantic.
Prof Nick Dulvy of Simon Fraser University in Canada and a member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature expert panel on sharks, said wiping out populations of the fish often plays havoc with the ecosystem: “When we remove the top predator, their prey can burgeon and affect the food chain all the way down.” This can affect seafood prized by people, as happened off North Carolina when commercial fishing destroyed the big shark population, leaving rays to thrive which in turn destroyed bay scallops.
“We are thrilled that the tide is now turning for shark conservation, with governments listening to the science and acting in the interests of sustainability,” said Elizabeth Wilson, manager of Pew’s global shark campaign. “With these new protections, they will have the chance to recover and once again fulfil their role as top predators.”
Manta rays, known by divers as friendly and inquisitive gentle giants with a seven-metre wingspan, also got new protection against exports at the Cites summit, backed by 80% of the voting nations. They are easy to catch but extremely slow to reproduce, delivering just one pup every two to five years. Their populations are being devastated off Sri Lanka and Indonesia to feed a newly created Chinese medicine market in which their gill plates, used to filter food from the ocean, are sold as a purifying tonic. Around 5,000 a year are killed, generating $5m for traders, but where protected they bring in $140m from tourism.
Finally, the nations at the Cites summit chose unanimously to ban all international trade in a species of freshwater sawfish that is now restricted to northern Australia. They are virtually extinct over much of their former west Pacific range, and have not been seen for decades in Indonesia and Thailand. They were sought for their highly valuable fins ($4,000), their saws ($1,500) and by aquariums. Monday’s vote means all sawfish species have been banned from international trade.
Carlos Drews, head of WWF’s Cites delegation, called the shark votes “a landmark moment”. Ralf Sonntag, shark specialist for the International Fund for Animal Welfare, said: “This is a bold move by Cites. These sharks are worth far more alive than dead to local communities.”
- Biodiversity: More protection for manta rays? (summitcountyvoice.com)
- Conservation Body Votes to Regulate Shark Trade (abcnews.go.com)
- Conservation body votes to regulate shark trade (miamiherald.com)
- Conservation body votes to regulate shark trade (seattletimes.com)
- ‘Pressure’ on shark protection vote (bbc.co.uk)
- Cites votes to regulate shark trade (independent.ie)
- Sharks at risk of extinction from overfishing, say scientists (guardian.co.uk)
- Protections aim to moderate trade in shark fins (abc.net.au)
The government would consider building more air quality monitoring stations in the city even though there are already enough for policymaking and scientific purposes, lawmakers were told. South China Morning Post SCMP reports
Two new stations in Tuen Mun and Tseung Kwan O are already planned in response to development and the growing population in those areas.
Apart from those two, the Environment Bureau would consider adding more stations to the 11 general and three roadside ones to satisfy the public’s desire to have specific air quality readings in the districts where they live, Undersecretary for Environment Christine Loh Kung-wai said.
She was speaking at a Legislative Council public accounts committee hearing convened in response to last month’s Audit Commission report, which had criticised the government’s pollution-cutting measures as ineffective, inadequate or stalled by red tape.
Environment officials told the hearing that they were briefing government departments about a new air quality index and hoped to discuss it with the Legco environmental affairs panel by June.
He said it was not necessary to have more stations for scientific research and policymaking, adding that the department reviewed the network of stations every year.
Civic Party lawmaker Alan Leong Kah-kit was sceptical about Mok’s comments. “Logically speaking, if resources allow, the more data you collect, the better it is for scientific purposes,” he said.
Loh replied: “We may add more stations according to the public’s needs. But there hasn’t been a conclusion within the government yet.”
Loh said the bureau accepted an expert report to replace the existing 17-year-old air quality index and were in touch with experts from the World Health Organisation for further studies. She said the new index, modelled on a Canadian approach, was innovative. It would include how air quality affects health.
Mok said it costs HK$3 million to build a station and HK$1.5 million to HK$2 million a year to maintain it.
- Valley groups push for better air pollution info (modbee.com)
- Asian Cities’ Air Quality Getting Worse, Experts Warn (nytimes.com)
- Improve Pollution Regulation in Asia Before It’s Too Late (forcechange.com)
- Asia air pollution kills 800 thousands people each year (worldbulletin.net)
- Air Quality Action Day Forecast on Dec. 1 for Three Regions (prnewswire.com)
- Float Beijing project helps monitor air quality index in Beijing (ubergizmo.com)
- Standalone air quality monitor based around Raspberry Pi (hackaday.com)
- Red, yellow air alerts forecasted for several Utah counties (fox13now.com)
As the year draws to a close, TRAFFIC warns that 2011 has seen a record number of large ivory seizures globally, reflecting the sharp rise in illegal ivory trade underway since 2007. Report from TRAFFIC
Although official confirmation of the volume of ivory involved in some cases has not yet been registered, what is clear is the dramatic increase in the number of large-scale seizures, over 800 kg in weight, that have taken place in 2011—at least 13 of them.
This compares to six large seizures in 2010, whose total weight was just under 10 tonnes. A conservative estimate of the weight of ivory seized in the 13 largest seizures in 2011 puts the figure at more than 23 tonnes, a figure that probably represents some 2,500 elephants, possibly more.
“In 23 years of compiling ivory seizure data for ETIS, this is the worst year ever for large ivory seizures—2011 has truly been a horrible year for elephants,” said Tom Milliken, TRAFFIC’s Elephant expert.
In 2009, an ETIS analysis revealed a sharp increase in illicit ivory trade after steadily rising from 2004 onwards © TRAFFIC Click graphic to enlargeMilliken manages ETIS (the Elephant Trade Information System), the illegal ivory trade monitoring system that TRAFFIC runs on behalf of Parties to CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora). ETIS holds the details of over 17,000 reported ivory and other elephant product seizures that have taken place anywhere in the world since 1989.
Once the records of hundreds of smaller ivory seizures are at hand, 2011 could well prove be the worst year ever for elephants in the database.
“The escalating large ivory quantities involved in 2011 reflect both a rising demand in Asia and the increasing sophistication of the criminal gangs behind the trafficking. Most illegal shipments of African elephant ivory end up in either China or Thailand.”
The smugglers also appear to have shifted away from using air to sea freight: in early 2011, three of the large scale ivory seizures were at airports, but later in the year most were found in sea freight.
“The only common denominator in the trafficking is that the ivory departs Africa and arrives in Asia, but the routes are constantly changing, presumably reflecting where the smugglers gamble on being their best chance of eluding detection.”
In six of the large seizures in 2011, Malaysia has been a transit country in the supply chain, a role that TRAFFIC first drew attention to in 2009.
A typical example occurred earlier this month, when Customs in Malaysia seized 1.4 tonnes of ivory (widely misreported as 15 tonnes) concealed inside a shipping container en route from Kenya to Cambodia.
Once inside Asia, the documentation accompanying an onward shipment is changed to make it appear as a local re-export, helping to conceal its origin from Africa.
“That’s an indication of the level of sophistication enforcement officers are up against in trying to outwit the criminal masterminds behind this insidious trade,” said Milliken.
“As most large-scale ivory seizures fail to result in any arrests, I fear the criminals are winning.”
Large-scale ivory seizures, 2001-2011
|Year||No. of Large-scale Seizures||Wt of Large-scale Ivory
| * estimated, provisional figure
Large scale ivory seizures in 2011 (some await official confirmation)
|Seized||Month in 2011||Number of ivory pieces||Actual/estimated weight (kg)|
Further information & images: Richard Thomas, Communications Co-ordinator, TRAFFIC. +44 752 6646216 (m), Richard.firstname.lastname@example.org
WWF is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organizations, with over 5 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the earth’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world’s biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.
TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network, works to ensure that trade in wild plants and animals is not a threat to the conservation of nature. TRAFFIC is a joint programme of IUCN and WWF.
- Worst year for elephants since ivory trade banned as large-scale tusk smuggling hits record high (dailymail.co.uk)
- 2011: “Annus horribilis” for African Elephants, says TRAFFIC (yubanet.com)
- Thousands of African Elephants Slaughtered to Meet East Asia’s Ivory Fettish (ibtimes.com)
- Record ivory seizures in 2011, says watchdog (vancouversun.com)
- Record ivory seizures in 2011, says watchdog (calgaryherald.com)
- Worst Year in Decades for Endangered Elephants (foxnews.com)
- Asian Demand Fuelling Illegal Trade of African Elephant Tusks (ibtimes.com)
- Elephants Have Worst Year for Poaching of Ivory Since 1989 (myessentia.com)
- Worst year in decades for endangered elephants (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Asian lust for ivory makes 2011 horrible year for elephants (theglobeandmail.com)
- A Dreadful Year For Elephants: ‘The Criminals Are Winning’ (huffingtonpost.com)
- Elephants Increasingly At Risk Of Extinction, Group Says (huffingtonpost.com)
A wake up call from TIME Inc.
Steven Spielberg has a lot to answer for — most recently the senses-shattering Transformers: Dark of the Moon, for which the Hollywood great somehow served as an executive producer — but his greatest sin may have been the damage he did to the public image of sharks. His 1975 megahit Jaws didn’t just usher in the era of the summer Hollywood blockbuster; it indelibly imprinted the concept of the shark as killer, as the enemy of man. (And John Williams, who wrote that chilling theme music: you’re not blameless either.) People who had never so much as waded in the ocean became convinced that sharks were a menace, better off dead. As a kid paddling in the New Jersey surf — where I was probably more likely to encounter medical waste than any shark — I know that’s how I felt.
In reality, unlike in the movies, unprovoked shark attacks are extremely rare, and fatal ones even more so. According to the International Shark Attack File, just six people worldwide were killed by sharks last year. But human beings haven’t returned the favor. Each year, fishermen kill as many as 73 million sharks, usually cutting off their fins — which are valued for shark-fin soup, a popular dish in Asia — before tossing the bloody carcasses overboard. Tens of millions of other sharks likely die each year accidentally because of fishing gear set for other species. As a result, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature estimates that as many as a third of all shark species are threatened or near threatened with extinction, including the great white. Sharks aren’t the true killers — we are.(Jaws: Behind-the-Scenes Photos from the Hectic Shoot.)
That’s the message behind the new book Demon Fish: Travels Through the Hidden World of Sharks, by Juliet Eilperin, the Washington Post‘s national environment reporter. Eilperin journeys from the markets of Hong Kong — the center of the shark-fin trade — to a shark cage in the depths of the Indian Ocean, charting the ancient history of these 400 million-year-old creatures and highlighting the major threats to their continued existence. But Eilperin also explores our disturbed psychological relationship to sharks, asking why even the sight of a single small shark cruising through the water can send a frisson of fear through a swimmer that seems almost instinctual.
Part of that terror may actually stem from a famous attribute of sharks: their need to keep swimming in order to breathe. While that’s not actually true for every species of shark, many do need to employ what’s called ram ventilation in order to respire, swimming forward with their mouths open, letting the water — with its oxygen — flow through the gill slits. As Eilperin writes, “This is one of the reasons people see sharks as scary: cruising along as they display their sharp teeth, they look as if they’re poised to attack at any moment.” What appears to be a prelude to aggression is just a poor shark trying to catch its breath.(Photos: A Closer Look at Sharks.)
Of course, it’s not that Eilperin is arguing that sharks are completely harmless. She notes that island cultures tied closely to the sea have far more interactions with sharks and more reason to fear them. Today surfers seem particularly vulnerable to attacks — sharks swimming from below can sometimes mistake a person paddling a board for a seal. But even those bites rarely lead to fatalities, in part because sharks don’t like the taste of human beings. Eilperin notes the dictum of Christopher Neff, a shark researcher in Australia: we’re in the way of sharks as they scour the oceans for food, but we’re not on their menu.
They, however, are on ours more than ever. Rapid economic growth in China has led to a sharp increase in demand for shark fins — which is a little peculiar since the shark-fin soup for which the animals give their lives is not all it’s cracked up to be. I tried some once in the Chinese port city of Qingdao and was surprised by how thin and watery it is. But the soup isn’t served for the taste. It first emerged as a delicacy in China during the Sung dynasty more than 1,000 years ago as a way for the Chinese to show off their wealth. After a short period during Mao Zedong‘s hard-line rule when such culinary displays were considered politically decadent, the dish is back in favor. And as the number of rich Chinese has grown, so has the value of the shark fins, which can be worth 100 times what shark meat itself goes for — hence the habit many fishermen have of keeping only the fins. Nor is China the only place where sharks are eaten: Japan has shark-fin sushi, and Eilperin notes that shark-fin cat food is even sold in some countries.
If we can’t curb the global appetite for the soup, the future looks very bleak for sharks. The good news is that conservationists are beginning to make some headway, both legislatively and with public opinion. Hawaii has instituted a comprehensive ban on all shark-fin products, making it illegal for any person to sell or distribute anything with shark fin, and California is moving on a similar ban. (Hawaii and California have some of the largest markets for shark fin outside Asia.) On July 5, the Bahamas established new protections for sharks in the 250,000 sq. miles of ocean that surround the island, and this week the national members of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission are meeting in California, where they’ll consider a ban on fishing equipment that has led to inadvertent shark deaths.
To truly save sharks, however, conservationists have to win over consumers in Asia and change the image of shark-fin soup. A lawmaker in the National People’s Congress has introduced legislation banning the trade of shark fins in China, though such laws have little chance of passage now. But prominent Chinese have begun to speak out for sharks — most notably NBA star Yao Ming, who has pledged never to eat shark-fin soup — and there are signs of a dawning conservation movement among younger Chinese. Let’s just hope they haven’t seen Jaws.
- Shark’s fin soup, China, and the GDP: Why protecting sharks is good for the economy. (slate.com)
- Toronto councillors launch shark fin ban campaign (cbc.ca)
- Rachel Bilson: Ban the Sale of Shark Fins! (justjared.buzznet.com)
- DiCaprio backs California bill to save sharks (hollywood.com)
- Councillors back proposal to ban shark fin soup in the city (theglobeandmail.com)
- Group says shark finning unsustainable, inhumane (ctv.ca)