03 August 2010

Humane Society International and The HSUS fans of Discovery’s Shark Week

In case any readers were unaware—highly doubtful—Discovery Channel is currently airing the 23rd installment of its tremendously popular special “Shark Week”, a fact that apparently has not escaped Humane Society International (HSI) and The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

The two animal rights organizations are using “Shark Week” as a springboard to further educate society on the animal’s plight, celebrate the shark fin ban that recently passed in Hawaii and further advance efforts to protect one of the oceans fiercest carnivores.

"Shark Week has a great following and presents an excellent forum in which to raise awareness about the threat of extinction facing sharks," said Iris Ho, campaign manager of Humane Society International. "We join with Senator John Kerry, who collaborated with Discovery's Shark Week to outlaw shark finning, in urging swift enactment of the Shark Conservation Act (H.R. 81/S. 850) before Congress adjourns in a few months. Ultimately we hope to see shark fins off the menu and the practice of shark finning banned on all fishing vessels around the world."

Additionally, Humane Society International has coincidentally provided a handy weekly schedule designed to assist individuals who are interested in protecting these magnificent creatures. Feel free to repeat the day one activity often and make sure to tell all of your friends.

Tips – How Can You Help Sharks?

Day 1: Contact your two U.S. Senators and ask them to co-sponsor the Shark Conservation Act (S.850). Take action here!

Day 2: Remember, before you sit down to eat at an Asian food restaurant, ask whether they serve shark fin soup or related products. If the answer is yes, explain to them why you are unable to eat at their restaurant. Visit our site to download and print consumer cards that you can give to restaurant managers.

Day 3: Sign our 'No Shark Fin' pledge and encourage your friends and family to as well.

Day 4: Consider leaving sharks out of your diet. Commonly eaten sharks like mako have lost more than 50 percent of their wild populations, and the EPA warns pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems not to eat shark due to high levels of mercury and other contaminants. Visit here for more info.

Day 5: Do not attend shark tournaments that give prizes for killing sharks. These tournaments vilify sharks and contribute to overall decline in populations.

Day 6: If you have friends who are contemplating serving shark fin soup at their weddings or other celebratory occasions, ask them not to and explain why. Tell them to visit our website to download table tents they can use to explain their decision to guests.

Day 7: If you have enjoyed the six days of actions and tips, please visit hsi.org for more information.

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Photo Credit: Discovery Channel