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Sharks

China’s elites and WildAid launch Chinese initiative to save endangered species and sharks

Today, leading Chinese stars - Yao Ming, Li Ning and Liu Huan jointly launched WildAid's public awareness campaign to protect endangered species and in particular sharks from high levels of consumption, which threaten them with extinction.

Decimating Shark Population for Some Soup: Rising Demand for Fins Contributes to Decline in Shark Population, Critics Charge

The practice is particularly crude and cruel, critics say. The "finners" pull the sharks onto the boat, hack off some or all of their four fins, then throw the shark, usually still alive, back into the water. Unable to swim, the sharks sink to the bottom of the sea and die.

"Not only is it horrible to look at," says Peter Knights, the executive director of Wildaid, a conservation group, "but it's sheer waste. Ninety-five percent of the shark is thrown overboard."

Environmentalists Warn of Shark Troubles

Many species of shark are facing a serious threat to their existence because of worldwide fishing trends, environmentalists said Wednesday.

Fishermen "used to cut the lines and let sharks go," said Pete Kinghts, executive director of WildAid, a San Francisco-based conservation group, told a shark conservation conference. In recent years, however, fishermen have kept the sharks to sell their lucrative fins.

One-third of the more than 500 shark species are threatened with extinction or are close to being threatened, said Sarah Fowler of the World Conservation Union.

Chinese and International Experts Make Recommendations at International Shark Conservation Meeting

In Beijing, on November 7th, 2006, experts on shark conservation, research and management from Australia, China, Singapore, United States and United Kingdom, participated in the International Shark Conservation Meeting in Beijing, China. After discussion, The experts reached the following consensus:

Exotic dishes face Olympian chop

Chinese officials should ensure that shark's fin, swallow's nest, bear's paw, snake and other dishes that might "upset" foreigners are removed from restaurants before the 2008 Olympics, state media on Wednesday quoted a local lawmaker as saying.

"Serving shark's fin to foreign guests during the Olympic Games could greatly hurt China's image, and officials should start removing the dish from the dining tables right now," the official Xinhua News Agency quoted Xu Zhihong, a Beijing deputy to the National People's Congress, as saying.

Survey in China Highlights Public Support for Shark Conservation and Lack of Knowledge About Impacts of Consumption

WildAid and the SSIC today launched the findings of a survey in to shark consumption habits and attitudes.

The survey report revealed that Chinese consumers have very little understanding of the negative environmental impacts associated with shark losses, while indicating mounting public support for effective shark conservation activities.

The survey, carried out between November 2005 to February 2006, produced unique in-depth information on the status of shark fin consumption, and identified public attitudes toward shark conservation in China.

Chinese Know Little About Shark Conservation - Survey

There is growing public support in China for the need to protect the world's dwindling shark population, but little understanding about the connection between conservation and shark finning, according to a survey.

Shark fin, once offered as a gift to emperors, is traditionally served at Chinese wedding banquets and occasions when the host wants to impress guests with expensive and unusual dishes.

Some also believe it is good for health.

Sharks in the Soup, Says Conservation Group

A conservation group has warned that sharks could be extinct within a generation unless people lose their appetite for shark fin soup, Reuters reports.

WildAid today called on the Chinese government to act to protect several at-risk species - including Basking, Great White, and Hammerhead - which face increasing pressure as the country's taste for the soup grows with increased wealth.

Bo Derek: We all must battle wildlife traffickers

Editor's note: Bo Derek is an actress who starred in the movie "10." Most recently, she starred in the series "Fashion House." She is also an activist working extensively to raise awareness of the costs of wildlife trafficking. She submitted this commentary to CNN's Larry King Live.

When I first visited the Galapagos Islands Marine Reserve, I expected to see an untouched paradise. While it is still beautiful to the naked eye, behind the scenes, all is not well. While there, I learned that the famous sharks of the Galapagos were under siege for their fins.

New Report Reveals Human Activities Threaten Survival of Sharks Worldwide

Sharks have thrived in the world's oceans for more than 400 million years, but a comprehensive new report released today by Oceana and WildAid reveals that the world's shark populations have been devastated by human activities. The new report, entitled "End of the Line," shows how the global demand for shark products, and in particular shark fin soup, has prompted gruesome and wasteful fishing practices that could effectively lead to their extinction.

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