In Hong Kong, officials have made the largest shark fin seizure in the city’s history, uncovering 26 tons inside two shipping containers.
80% of the fins came from endangered species. This seizure is more than double the total amount of fins uncovered in 2019. The total value of the fins, which came from about 38,500 sharks, is equal to more than $1 million.
The two containers arrived from Ecuador in January and were opened in late April and early May. The 57-year-old owner was arrested and released on bail, pending investigation.
Selling and consuming shark fins is legal in Hong Kong, but that does not cover endangered species. Anyone who is found to be importing an endangered species without a license could face up to 10 years in jail and a $10 million fine.
If this news outrages you, please sign this petition to demand justice for these sharks! ~Brie Davis
Ten Texas restaurants and markets in the Houston and Dallas area were charged with illegally selling shark fin products—including fins from several protected shark species.
Officials with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department seized several hundred pounds of shark fins from the businesses.
“Protecting the many shark species residing and migrating through the Gulf of Mexico, as well as the illegally trafficked sharks from around the world, offered for sale in Texas is one of our highest priorities,” said Col. Grahame Jones, Law Enforcement Director at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in a statement.
Shark fin soup has been banned in Texas and many other states and countries around the world.
SHARKWATER EXPEDITION SUCCESS IN BVI
Team Sharkwater completed filming and baseline research through the expedition in the British Virgin Islands. A Special thank you to Sir Richard Branson who joined us diving from his beautiful island, Necker, and amazing organizer Lauren Keil from Unite BVI, who helped coordinate all the government ministries and film commission. Our hope for the trip is to provide research to add further shark protections and more protected marine areas in the Caribbean, something Sir Richard Branson and Rob Stewart campaigned tirelessly for. At the St Maarten Conference, they outlined how sharks migrate thousands of miles and to protect these beautiful creatures, we must provide safe passage through many countries.
The British Virgin Islands are a beautiful location to work in; our heartfelt thank you to all participants, we couldn’t have done it without you!
With a baseline for research, we’ll be back next year to do more research for sharks, the oceans and more protections.
Our international crew is now safe back home, but it was a rush to repatriate before the travel bans were put into place. Some were already under travel bans, but were invaluable in organizing and planning and there in spirit.
Filipe DeAndrade (Director of Photography, National Geographic Host and Producer), Regi Domingo (Nakawe Project, Filmmaker), Larry Curtis (Cinematographer), Pam Eichner (Actor), Renee Capozzola (Award-winning underwater photographer), Alex Antoniou (Fins Attached, Research), Will Allen (Cinematographer), Randall Arauz, Mauricio Hoyos (Research), and so many more, we can’t name them all.
Please stay safe: avoid crowds, practice social distancing, wash your hands, take government suggestions seriously. We all hope the COVID-19 crisis ends soon, so you and your families, friends and our Sharkwater teammates and everyone working for a better future can be safe, get back to work, get your kids get back to school and the world returns to normal.
Our team continues to work through this crisis remotely and all our services will continue.
Thank you for being part of our community.
January 31st marks the day three years ago when the world lost celebrated filmmaker and biologist Rob Stewart during a tragic scuba diving accident.
Rob was a Hero; an activist for the sharks and an advocate for the oceans; a friend to many, brother, son, uncle, yogi.
Rob Stewart dreamed of seeing a #finfree world and he has been credited for saving one-third of the world’s sharks since the release of his 2006 award-winning film Sharkwater.
In 2018, Rob’s close friends and family completed his final film Sharkwater Extinction, which he was in the midst of filming on that day in 2017.
Since the film premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, it has won 47 awards around the world and continues to score 100% on Rotten Tomatoes.
In 2018, using footage Rob shot for Sharkwater Extinction, the California Legislature passed a bill to ban drift net fishing, which killed not only sharks, but sea turtles, whales, sea lions and many more marine mammals.
In 2019, the Rob Stewart Sharkwater Foundation was formed to continue his mission. The Foundation launched the SharkFree campaign to work with cosmetic and personal care product companies in an effort to remove shark liver oil, known as squalene, from their products.
As of 2019, Canada banned the import and export of shark fin. Canada was the largest importer of shark fins outside of Asia.
In January 2020, New Jersey became the latest state to sign a law banning the sale of shark fins. More than 85 countries have banned shark finning, and the U.S. has banned the sales of shark fin in 17 states and territories.
CITES votes to protect Makos in 2019, as well as 18 species of rays and sharks by adding them to their endangered list. The warm-blooded Makos are the fastest sharks in the world.
In November 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act, which would prohibit the sales of shark fins, and the bill has moved on to a vote in the Senate.
Together, we have done so much, but the fight to save the world’s sharks continues.
Sharkwater Extinction demonstrated how shark ingredients have been introduced into our everyday household cosmetics, pet food and fertilizers. The Rob Stewart Sharkwater Foundation continues to work to keep sharks off the shelves, and out of our cosmetics.
Rob partnered with many people and groups in his quest to save sharks and we know he was deeply grateful for all your support. Thank You!
If Rob’s work inspires you, please join us at the Rob Stewart Sharkwater Foundation. Together, we will bring more positive changes.