HOW IT STARTED?
This project was first proposed by WWF-Malaysia for Shark Savers Malaysia (SSMY) to continue public engagement on the issue of shark fin consumption in Malaysia. As quoted by the Sustainable Seafood Manager of WWF-Malaysia, Chitra Devi said, “Shark Savers Malaysia will champion the fight for sharks through the grassroots programs where else WWF-Malaysia will continue through policy advocacy and business engagement instead. Both of this approach will help accelerate the objectives in reducing the consumption and establish better management plan for our sharks.” WWF-Malaysia recognizes SSMY for the collaborative effort on My Fin My Life campaign last year. And believes that shark conservation is a long-term initiative and we need to continue our efforts and work with partners for a period of time before we could reverse the situation and see significant results. Hence, WWF-Malaysia is happy to join forces with SSMY to reverse the present scenario of high shark fin consumption in Malaysia. This project was officially launch on June 2017, introducing many new partnership and events lign up for this year.
ABOUT THIS PROJECT
This project aims to encompass 3 themes - Wildlife & Environmental Education, Civic Engagement and Market Transformation Initiatives. With collaboration with various stakeholder and key industry players, this project hopes to bring in more supporters to champion the cause of the campaign.
Our project objectives are as follows:
Engage Malaysian by taking action on “Shark Finning & Consumption” through social media and public events.
Promote volunteerism and empower people in protecting wildlife and nature conservation.
Obtain as many businesses to remove shark fin from their corporate dining menu particularly Shark Fin caterers.
WHO WE ARE?
This project is lead by Shark Savers Malaysia (SSMY), which is a non-profit, non-governmental membership-based organization formed in 2013 and was formally registered as an association under the Registrar of Society (ROS) in 2016. SSMY is made up of like-minded people in their communities who work for sharks after office hours and on precious weekends, dedicated to saving sharks through building awareness, education, and grassroots action.
Overseeing the project is by WWF-Malaysia. We are a Malaysian organisation affiliated with WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature), the international conservation organisation.
Established as a national conservation trust on January 13, 1972, WWF-Malaysia began as a humble 2 person-organisation. Today, we have close to 200 people working for us – from Kedah to Sabah. Also known as Tabung Alam Malaysia, we are governed by a Board of Trustees. Our early work focused on scientific research of wildlife and important natural habitats. This work later expanded to the management of protected areas. Today, WWF-Malaysia’s work covers the broader issues of the natural environment, incorporating such aspects as policy work, environmental education, public awareness and campaigns.
WHAT WE DO?
We organise public events that aims to educate and bring people from all walks of life to participate and be proactive in this journey. We also engage with businesses such as restaurant and hotels to phase out shark fins soup from their menu.
WHY SHARK MATTERS?
Irresponsible consumption of sharks (fins and meat) is causing sharks to be overfished. According to Malaysia Department of Statistic, between the year 2004-2011, 84% of this imported shark fins were consumed domestically with an average of 1,384 metric tonnes of imported shark fins were consumed annually in Malaysia. Sharks are sought for fins, meat, leather, liver oil and cartilage and It is estimated that at least 1.4 million tonnes, or 100 million shark individuals are killed per year. The high demand for shark fin is currently the main driver of unsustainable fishing for sharks globally. This will worsen the already declining fish stocks of our oceans and further disrupt the balance of the marine ecosystem.
WHAT CAN WE DO?
We can minimize the impacts of shark overfishing by reducing or avoiding consumption of sharks. This would create an enabling environment to reduce targeted shark fishery and encourage more bycatch mitigation measures locally.