Monday, September 13, nine people from five different countries came
together at the United Nations Environment Program New York office in
the USA to speak on behalf of a campaign organized by the Pew
The campaign is seeking greater protection of
sharks, whose numbers are diminishing sharply as some 73 million are
killed each year for a dish known as shark fin soup.
to international researchers who have observed the practice, the sharks
are often subjected to a cruel process known as finning, in which their
fins are removed while they are still alive.
The sharks are then
discarded, finless, into the sea, where they sink and are left to die
on the ocean floor. Some shark populations have decreased by 80%, with
nearly a third of all species now classified as endangered or
near-threatened with extinction. The nine people who arrived to support
the Pew Environment Group’s campaign, which includes a call to ban
finning, are further distinguished by a common experience, namely, that
all have endured serious injury or even loss of a limb from their own
encounters with sharks.
Australian Navy diver Paul de Gelder,
for instance, whose right hand and lower right leg were lost to a shark
during a dive last year, said that he wanted to help give a voice to an
animal that can't speak for itself.
He stated,“We're decimating
the population of sharks just for a bowl of soup." Mr. de Gelder went on
to say, “Regardless of what an animal does according to its base
instincts of survival, it has its place in our world.
We have an
obligation to protect and maintain the natural balance of our delicate
ecosystems.” Fellow survivor, American Debbie Salamone stated, "Sharks
deserve protection and I am proud to join with fellow survivors to carry
that message. If we see the value in saving these animals after what we
have endured, then everyone should."
We are touched by the depth
of your care and commitment, survivor advocates, as we also send our
appreciation to the Pew Environment Group for their dedicated endeavors
to save our precious marine co-inhabitants.
Let us quickly halt
such needless and devastating practices of fishing and adopt the
life-affirming vegan diet for the sake of all beings and the planet.
a March 2009 videoconference in Mexico, Supreme Master Ching Hai
reminded of our interconnectedness with all forms of life while
highlighting the best way to care for the planet’s fragile ecosystems.
Supreme Master Ching Hai:
It’s not only oil but other of Our actions as well, such as overfishing
and chemical run-off from farms and factories. these all cause harm,
because they do not consider the impact of our actions on other beings. http://www.france24.com/en/20100913-shark-victims-unite-save-attackershttp://blogs.reuters.com/environment/2010/09/attack-survivors-at-un-save-the-sharks/http://blogs.nationalgeographic.com/blogs/news/chiefeditor/2010/09/survivors-of-shark-attacks.html
being on Earth and in the sea has value, no matter how small they might
look, and something unique to do on this planet. It is our ignoring of
this balance and the preciousness of all lives that has contributed to
our global danger right now.
The way to solve this problem is
through greater consideration for all lives. This means we should
respect all lives, and in action. If everyone is vegan,
an animal-free diet,then there is a different outlook, different
conception for development of all kinds. In our case, it will proceed
with compassion and care, which is what we need to restore the wonders
of our marine life.