The majority of that is made up of shark fins and shark meat. A small portion is made up of a range of other products. In fact, the demand for shark meat has increased by 42% from 2000 to 2011. Most of these products are legal to buy, sell and trade, with the exception of shark fins, which are becoming increasingly "outlawed" in the United States and Pacific Island Nations. The numbers and statics are covered in each respective section. You may be surprised how much your own country contributes to the market.
Not purchasing and consuming shark products.
Learning and making your friends and family aware of the issues.
Creating awareness with merchants, restaurants, online distributors and manufacturers that sell shark products, and asking them to discontinue the product. To make this easier we have a collection of fact sheets and sample letters that you can download. Download this fact sheet on shark products to educate yourself and those around you. You can even send it along with your letter to manufacturers. Additionally, we have provided suggested language if you wish to write to manufacturers to stop selling their shark product.
Community and smaller businesses: Use a friendly approach with your community based businesses. Give people a change to absorb new information. The majority of the population still doesn't have a clue that selling shark is any different than selling any other fish product. Offer help and provide information. Get your community involved to address local merchants or restaurants and inspire them to stop offering shark meat. If the customers don't want it, there is no incentive to sell it. Shaming people into compliance does not work. Our approach is to let people come on board and change their behavior out of their own volition. If none of that works, well, then maybe a local protest or signature collection is in order.
Larger manufacturers, distributors and retailers: It's best to start friendly as well. You may be surprised by the response you are getting. A lot will depend on how intensely they are involved in the sale of the product (i.e. fish markets will be harder to convince to stop selling shark meat, where as a deli market that has many other delicacies may be fine to reduce their offerings by one product.) Start by thinking about tracking the product to it's source. Even though, distribution giants such as Amazon and Alibaba should be held accountable, it may be easier to get somewhere by addressing the people that make the product and supply it in the first place. For the portion of the industry that does it knowingly and gives little value to individual's opinions, a simple and friendly letter can be the best way to see where they stand. The next level would be a boycott of products, petitions, etc., but that requires a different level of dedication and involvement.
Email us a link to the products and companies you find and we will start compiling a database. Let us know if you discover new products that we haven't covered in this section. Also, share with us your story so we can promote the successes! Businesses that change their practices should be acknowledged. It will inspire others to take action.