Friday, August 22, 2008

Taiwan National Palace Museum: taking steps against shark finning

When it comes to shark conservation, one of the concepts that I have always stressed is the need for an international, combined strategy that addresses both government/business (the suppliers) and demand (the consumer). Much of the demand for shark products, particularly fins, comes from Asian countries and so, while many western countries support anti-finning regulations, attention must be paid to alter the cultural mindset of the largest shark product market.

The Humane Society International is doing just that, developing relationships with other organizations that can have an impact on Asian society. A great step forward was accomplished recently with their efforts to get Taiwan's National Palace Museum to stop serving shark fin soup. (Read press release.)

Congratulations to the Humane Society and their affiliate, the Environment and Animal Society of Taiwan (EAST) for their ongoing efforts to enlighten Asian peoples and cultural institutions to the tragic effects of commercial shark fishing/finning.

Since shark aquafarming is most likely a very remote prospect, then attention must be turned towards altering the basic demand for shark products. Working with the decision-makers is one important strategy, but you also have to get right to the source and eliminate demand.

No comments: