Shark conservation has grown over the years with some quantifiable progress in the form of legislation, regulations, and defined sanctuaries. There has been some improvement in advocacy and general public awareness. But there has also has been time, energy, and needed funds wasted over perhaps well-intended feel good campaigns whose results did nothing to move the needle in the direction of improved conservation.
Actually, that can probably be said of all conservation movements and so it is incumbent upon all of us who are interested in conservation issues to study the players and make sure that our efforts and support are directed to those groups who can bring about real change.
Regarding the issue of market demand in Asian countries for shark fin products, I was encouraged to see this small news item by the Associated Foreign Press and picked up far to the west in the Oman Daily Observer: a "plankmob" in the streets of of downtown Hong Kong to protest shark fins and shark fin soup. The event was planned for today, Sunday, by the Hong Kong Shark Foundation - an organization dedicated to conserving sharks and situated in the midst of one of the major trade centers for shark products.
"Supporters of the Hong Kong Shark Foundation march along a street to raise awareness for sharks killed each year for their fins, in Hong Kong yesterday. According to studies of the shark fin market up to 73 million sharks are killed each year, primarily for their fins used in shark fin soup. A bowl of shark fin soup can cost 100 USD, with a single fin being worth more than 1,300 USD."
Read about the Hong Kong Shark Foundation.