The notorious trade in shark fins has attracted a great deal of press attention recently. Often, the rest of the shark is simply discarded and sometimes the fins are cut off while the animal is still alive, leaving it to die a slow and painful death.
This wasteful practice threatens to push many species of large shark, including hammerheads and thresher sharks, over the edge of extinction. The slaughter occurs because of the very lucrative trade in shark fins. Shark fin soup commands top prices in restaurants all over the world and one of the major markets is Singapore.
Because of the serious conservation issues, numerous Singapore businesses have already stopped selling shark fins in their restaurants, supermarkets and hotels and serving the soup at official functions. It is time for the government to follow suit.
Ask the government to take the lead in ocean conservation by banning the sale of shark fins altogether.
We the undersigned ask that Singapore take the lead in ocean conservation by banning the sale of shark fins. Several companies have already taken the initiative and stopped selling shark fin soup in their hotels and restaurants. It is time for the government to take decisive action itself.
The shark fin industry has grown enormously in the last couple of decades and the populations of sharks, which reproduce very slowly, simply cannot cope.
Aside from their own intrinsic value, sharks form an essential part of the ocean ecosystem. It would be irresponsible in the extreme to allow species to disappear for the sake of a luxury dish that nobody needs.
Singapore is in a unique position to address the escalating conservation problems associated with the shark fin trade. As a prosperous country, Singapore forms one of the main markets for the fins and is one of the major economic powers in Asia and Australasia. A ban would make a real difference itself and would bring pressure to bear on the other markets, including China, Taiwan and the United States, to follow suit.
Ocean conservation is crucial to the economic, social and environmental future of the entire world. We ask that Singapore use its influence for real progress on this issue.
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