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Shark fin soup at Disneyland HK

Discussion in 'Good Causes, Petitions and Solicitations' started by DocVikingo, May 23, 2005.

  1. drbill

    drbill The Lorax for the Kelp Forest Scuba Legend

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Santa Catalina Island, CA
    22,479
    5,389
    113
    I just received a message (as many of you probably did) from the Peter Hughes organization requesting that we divers write letters to the Disney corporation regarding this issue. Hughes is collecting the letters and intends to give them in bulk to corporate executives at Disney.

    The message below is what I wrote. It is addressed to Robert Iger, the new CEO at Disney. I hope many of you will take an opportunity to do the same. Letters can be sent to Hughes via phddivemail@waterpath.com


    Dear Mr. Iger,

    I have read of Disney's intent to serve shark fin soup at its Hong Kong theme park, and of resistance by Disney to requests by environmental groups and individuals asking it to forgo this.

    As a marine biologist and educator for more than 35 years, I wish to add my voice to those requesting Disney to reconsider this issue. I have been a SCUBA diver for nearly 45 years. During that time I have noted a serious decline of sharks in my waters. When I first started diving in California, shark sightings were a regular occurrence. I used to play a game with my students, counting the number of sharks sighted as we crossed the Channel from the mainland to Catalina Island. I don't remember the last time I saw a single shark on one of my crossings.

    I have dived world-wide, and often been disappointed to find that sharks have been fished out of many waters they were once common in. As apex (top) predators, they have a significant role in many ecosystems and on many species. There are scientific studies indicating the reduction in shark populations may create a ripple effect through coral reef habitats, causing the coral to decline.

    I realize that the general public has a fear of sharks, in part due to the original release of the movie "Jaws." Through diving with them, I have found them to be beautiful and graceful creatures largely undeserving of that reputation. To kill them through the practice of "finning" is horrific. While I try to be understanding of cultural differences, and accommodate them whenever possible, this is one area where a cultural practice is having severe consequences on the world's oceans.

    In releasing "Finding Nemo" with Pixar Studios, Disney conveyed a message of environmental sensitivity. I hope Disney will revisit this issue and take an environmentally responsible position rather than adding to the decimation of world shark populations.

    Thank you for your consideration.

    William W. Bushing, Ph.D.
     
  2. drbill

    drbill The Lorax for the Kelp Forest Scuba Legend

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Santa Catalina Island, CA
    22,479
    5,389
    113
    I just received a message (as many of you probably did) from the Peter Hughes organization requesting that we divers write letters to the Disney corporation regarding this issue. Hughes is collecting the letters and intends to give them in bulk to corporate executives at Disney.

    The message below is what I wrote. It is addressed to Robert Iger, the new CEO at Disney. I hope many of you will take an opportunity to do the same. Letters can be sent to Hughes via phddivemail@waterpath.com


    Dear Mr. Iger,

    I have read of Disney's intent to serve shark fin soup at its Hong Kong theme park, and of resistance by Disney to requests by environmental groups and individuals asking it to forgo this.

    As a marine biologist and educator for more than 35 years, I wish to add my voice to those requesting Disney to reconsider this issue. I have been a SCUBA diver for nearly 45 years. During that time I have noted a serious decline of sharks in my waters. When I first started diving in California, shark sightings were a regular occurrence. I used to play a game with my students, counting the number of sharks sighted as we crossed the Channel from the mainland to Catalina Island. I don't remember the last time I saw a single shark on one of my crossings.

    I have dived world-wide, and often been disappointed to find that sharks have been fished out of many waters they were once common in. As apex (top) predators, they have a significant role in many ecosystems and on many species. There are scientific studies indicating the reduction in shark populations may create a ripple effect through coral reef habitats, causing the coral to decline.

    I realize that the general public has a fear of sharks, in part due to the original release of the movie "Jaws." Through diving with them, I have found them to be beautiful and graceful creatures largely undeserving of that reputation. To kill them through the practice of "finning" is horrific. While I try to be understanding of cultural differences, and accommodate them whenever possible, this is one area where a cultural practice is having severe consequences on the world's oceans.

    In releasing "Finding Nemo" with Pixar Studios, Disney conveyed a message of environmental sensitivity. I hope Disney will revisit this issue and take an environmentally responsible position rather than adding to the decimation of world shark populations.

    Thank you for your consideration.

    William W. Bushing, Ph.D.
     
  3. Mrs.Prages

    Mrs.Prages Manta Ray

    667
    3
    0
    Well said Dr. Bill
     
  4. BILLB

    BILLB Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Hatboro, PA
    601
    1
    0
    This may be posted elsewhere, but here it is (again)...

    The Mouse Who Kills Sharks...

    Ed. Note: From time to time, we send out a special edition of PHD DivEmail because of compelling news or events that affect divers around the world.

    This is a special email from Peter Hughes dedicated to marine conservation.

    We are specifically addressing the decision by the Disney Corporation to encourage the wanton slaughter of sharks worldwide. This story was widely reported in the Hong Kong area, but received little attention in the U.S. This note contains no promotion for Peter Hughes Diving, Inc .

    Caution: This email does contain a graphic image of a mutilated shark .
    ______________________________

    The Mouse Who Kills Sharks...

    This story is almost unbelievable! Disney Enterprises is opening a new park in Hong Kong this December. Among other amenities, the park is slated to be a very popular spot to host weddings, banquets, and other festive occasions.

    Disney Hong Kong is actively promoting a banquet menu, hosted at the park, that includes Shark Fin Soup.

    For the uninitiated, there is a world wide practice of "finning" sharks. Fishing vessels use long lines and other destructive fishing techniques to hook sharks. The sharks are hauled onboard, their fins are cut off and sold to make the soup, and the rest of the carcasses are summarily tossed overboard. Dead or alive.

    It matters little whether the sharks are endangered or not. The fishing hooks know little of endangered species. Shark "finning" is banned in many countries, but the practice still persists.

    The demand for authentic Shark Fin Soup (once a delicacy served only for China's elite) has turned it into a mass market product, and spawned global "ghost" fleets of boats which decimate the world's shark populations to fill that demand. We are talking about millions of sharks killed each year.

    According to most marine scientists, Shark "Finning" is the single largest reason for the rapidly declining population of sharks worldwide.

    So now, the lovable Mickey Mouse has turned into a Shark Killer.

    Actually, a mass murderer, as millions of sharks are slaughtered each year.

    This from the company that co-produced FINDING NEMO (along with animation specialists Pixar)? What would have been the reaction by millions of young children around the world if Nemo was "finned" at the end of the movie???

    And please ask yourself if your reaction to every shark "finned" should be any different... There's an entire group of apex predators being destroyed, and any responsible corporation should not condone and endorse it.

    And Disney not only condones the practice of "finning" sharks, but markets it! Menus containing Shark Fin Soup are the most expensive of the banquest packages offered by Disney Hong Kong. What's a few million sharks when there's money to be made....

    You'd like to believe that this was just a case of cultural/corporate oversight, where one division of Disney was doing something that corporate Disney had not reviewed, etc.

    That's not the case.

    Disney has summarily rejected the objections to serving Shark Fin Soup, and even announced that it will continue to offer and fulfill the menus, as planned. (reported by the BBC and multiple other news groups on May 24, 2005).

    It's feeble defence is they are doing it in deference to Chinese "culture"...

    This, from the company that publicly states on its corporate website: "The Walt Disney Company is committed to balancing environmental stewardship with its corporate goals and operations worldwide."

    Well, it's pretty hard to get after a bunch of ghost fishing fleets (often flying maritime flags of convenience), and only slightly harder to get the attention of the Walt Disney Company.

    They don't invite critique via email, and don't publish email addresses for their top executives and Board Members. In fact, it's pretty difficult to find any Disney web site that invites any type of electronic feedback from their customers. Hmmm...

    If you strongly feel that a company in the global entertainment business which espouses a healthy, environmentally friendly, family style approach to its practices should not be condoning the reckless slaughter of sharks, we'd like to help you deliver your personal message of outrage at this practice.

    PLEASE WRITE US AN EMAIL (instructions below), and we'll print them, collate them, and distribute them to as many Disney executives as we can, starting with the new CEO, Robert Iger.

    Many of us have grown to adulthood with the Walt Disney Company, and hold them in the highest respect. We recommend their entertainment to our children, and feel secure that Disney will "do the right thing"...

    But in this matter of Shark Finning, they are as dead wrong as the sharks the fishermen consign to the deep.

    Please give this your utmost consideration.

    Dive Ocean Minded,

    Peter

    Peter Hughes, Peter Hughes Diving, Inc.
    _______________________________

    Email Us Back With Your Response and We'll Send it to Disney!

    Just Hit the REPLY button (phddivemail@waterpath.com), and address the Subject Line of your email to:

    Attention: Mr. Robert Iger, CEO, Walt Disney Company

    Please remember to "sign" the email with your name, City, and State.

    PHD will print and collate all of the letters and send them to both Disney Executives AND the Walt Disney Board of Directors via registered mail.

    ________________________________

    CONTACTS

    PETER HUGHES DIVING, Inc.

    5723 NW 158 Street, Miami Lakes, FL 33014
    Ph: 1-800-9-DANCER (800-932-6237), (305) 669-9391, Fax (305) 669-9475
    email: dancer@peterhughes.com
    web site: http://www.peterhughes.com

    About PHD DiveEMAIL: This is a complimentary news service by Peter Hughes Diving, Inc., sent only "by permission" through the services of WaterPath Electronic Publishing. If you would like to ADD a friend, DELETE, or CHANGE your email address, please hit the REPLY button and include the appropriate word.
    Or respond to: phddivemail@waterpath.com

    All email addresses are strictly confidential.
    ___________________________________________

    " WORK HARD, DIVE EASY "

    Copyright, June, 2005 by Peter Hughes Diving, Inc. and WaterPath Electronic Publishing
     
  5. BILLB

    BILLB Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Hatboro, PA
    601
    1
    0
    I not include the picture of a fined shark. It was not pretty.
     
  6. novicediver

    novicediver Solo Diver

    641
    14
    0
    Given this practice, how long will it take for some of our shark species to reach extinction? I have read various articles stating that 90% of the world's fisheries including sharks have been decimated. Are we close to the point of no return?
     
  7. Island Hoppa

    Island Hoppa Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Diego
    112
    0
    0
    thanks so much for the post. im going to let everyone i know about this. because not many do. shark finning is pathetic and anyone that eats it, promotes it, or does it should be prosecuted and hung. absolutely pathetic. are oceans are in such decline because of this. how long until there are no sharks left. it makes me angry just talking about this.
     
  8. Island Hoppa

    Island Hoppa Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Diego
    112
    0
    0
    i have posted this for you in the basic scuba discussions section of this post that is viewed by many more people. thanks again for the post.
     
  9. Matt the Aquaman

    Matt the Aquaman Great White

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Woodbury, MN
    3,318
    0
    36
  10. Chad_Ordelheide

    Chad_Ordelheide Barracuda

    271
    1
    0
    I just got a politically correct excuss letter from Disneyland. To me it sounds like a lot of BS that still lets them sell their soup and make the $$$.
    Here is a copy!

    We thank you for your email and sharing your concerns with us.

    During the past weeks, we have also heard the opinions and comments
    made
    by the conservation community and various different groups. We have
    given careful consideration to this matter.

    Hong Kong Disneyland takes environmental stewardship very seriously. We
    are also equally sensitive to local cultures.

    As the dish is considered an integral part of a Chinese wedding
    banquet,
    it is customary for Chinese restaurants and five-star hotels to serve
    shark's fin soup in Hong Kong. Since Hong Kong Disneyland is located
    in
    Asia, we believe that we have the obligation to offer choices to all of
    our guests.

    With this in mind, we feel that it is very important to balance between
    environmental concerns and respect for the local culture, so therefore
    we are taking the following proactive measures:

    -Hong Kong Disneyland is committed to source from reliable and
    responsible suppliers that adhere to International Treaties such as,
    the
    Official Journal of the European Union Council Regulation, the US Shark
    Finning Prohibition Act and the Convention on International Trade in
    Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

    -We will work with our Guests to ensure that they are aware of many
    other menu alternatives that could be incorporated into their banquets.
    The dish will only be served to guests at private functions upon their
    special request.

    -We also believe that it is important to provide potential guests with
    an informed choice. We are working with a local environmental group to
    present informative material to all guests requesting shark?s fin soup
    so they can make an informed decision and are aware of related
    environmental concerns.


    On behalf of Hong Kong Disneyland, I would like to thank you once again
    for sharing your concerns with us.


    Yours Sincerely,

    Guest Communications
    Hong Kong Disneyland
     

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