June 10, 2021
Hong Kong customs seized over three tonnes of dried shark fins at the HK International Airport.
The bust happened on May 29, 2021 after custom officers inspected two air shipments arriving from Mexico and found millions of dollars worth in shark fins. These illegal commodities are valued at approximately $2.2 million dollars.
Hong Kong officials actively do their part to try and stop the illicit trade of shark fins. Under the Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance, a person found guilty of trading an endangered species without a licence can face a maximum fine of $10 million and 10 years in prison.
Photo: The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Press Release
June 8, 2020.
We are excited to announce that on World Ocean’s Day, that the U.S. Senate passed the Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act (S.1106).
This was a lifelong dream of Rob Stewart; one that he worked for years to attain, not just through his films Sharkwater and Sharkwater Extinction, have been awarded more than 150 international awards and viewed by over 125 million people, but by campaigning tirelessly and founding the conservation groups United Conservationists and Fin Free. His dream for a Fin Free U.S. is finally coming to fruition.
Now it’s back to the House for ratification, which is expected soon; the House has demonstrated strong support for the Shark Fin Sales Elimination act, passing it 301 to 107 in 2019.
77% of oceanic sharks and rays are endangered and on the IUCN’s Red List, so this is a huge success. The bill bans the selling, buying and trade of shark fins and products that contain shark fins and will also shut down the shipping — the U.S. is a major transportation hub for shark fins.
Thanks to all our supporters and all the legislators for their years and decades of support for this important legislation. ~Emily Chavez
Australian Madison Stewart was featured in Rob Stewart’s Sharkwater Extinction. No relation to Rob, she describes herself as a “tech diver, filmmaker, and well rounded misfit” but she’s so much more. She founded Project Hiu, a Nonprofit Organization that transitions shark fishermen to shark tourism.
Madison realized at a young age that she loved sharks. In fact, she calls them adorable. Growing up on Australia’s Gold Coast, Madison became a certified Open Water diver at 12. She was filming sharks underwater by the time she was 14, having noticed the drastic decrease in shark populations. When she realized there was a legal shark fishery inside the Great Barrier Reef that harvested 100,000 sharks a year, Madison knew she had to act before all the sharks were gone.
The documentary Shark Girl followed Madison’s mission to protect sharks. She’s also been in Julie Barnes’ Sea of Life and will appear in the upcoming Envoy: Shark Cull. She says, “I always knew I wanted to get into film but never knew it could be a tool for conservation. Before Rob I enjoyed the ocean but never saw my potential to fight for it and take responsibility for it. I would say 100 percent Rob inspired me.”
Just 27 years of age, she’s already done so much to help sharks and the environment. So today, International Women’s Day (March 8, 2021), we want to shine the spotlight on the super incredible Madison Stewart!
On January 31, 2021, we remember Rob Stewart: shark activist, biologist, author and the filmmaker behind Sharkwater, Revolution and Sharkwater Extinction on the anniversary of his death.
“I think everyone changes the world. It’s just how much, how big, and in what direction. The more people become educated, the more they change the world in a positive direction. And 7 Billion people have a massive amount of power to change the world.” ~Rob Stewart
Rob spawned hundreds of conservation groups, in addition to founding his own: United Conservationists and Fin Free.
Since Sharkwater released, more than 100 countries have banned shark finning and 41 countries have banned shark finning, fishing or the shark fin trade entirely.
Shark success stores of 2020:
26 tonnes of shark fins were seized in Hong Kong. U.S. law enforcement seized 6 tons of shark fins and shut down a decade long shark smuggling ring. Hawaii levied the highest fine for shark fin smuggling: $126,000 in fines, forfeiture of the vessel valued at $119,000 and seizure of $58,000 of fins.
Since Sharkwater and Rob’s death, Marine Protected Areas have increased by more than 23 million square kilometers.
Hotels, airlines, shipping companies have banned shark fins. Even China and Hong Kong have banned the soup at state functions.
But there’s more work to do. 150 Million sharks are still dying from finning each year. Shark populations have already dropped by more than 90% and these beautiful animals need our help before they become extinct.
Ocean acidification caused by climate change is the biggest challenge of our generation.
But as Rob said, we envision a brighter future, Earth can be paradise for us and for millions of other species—why not use the height of our intelligence, and the greatest evolution of humanity, to usher in something amazing. Don’t feel disillusioned! The challenge is calling out the best in us.”
Please share Rob’s message and let your friends know they can watch Sharkwater Extinction free worldwide on Amazon Prime and on Crave in Canada.
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