Yao Ming, Sir Richard Branson Support Call to Ban Shark Fins

The call to ban shark the trade and sale of shark fin products is gaining ground with known supporters coming forward, including: Leonardo DiCaprio, James Cameron, Wolfgang Puck, Gordon Ramsey, Mario Batali, Yao Ming, Sir Richard Branson, Edward Norton and Chinese entrepreneur Zhang Yue.

WildAid, the group that is spearheading this cause, announced that Yao Ming and Sir Richard Branson will release two new public service announcements for the cause.

Yao publicly committed to stop eating shark fin soup in 2006 after learning of the cruel and wasteful practice of “finning” and the threat of extinction facing many shark populations as a result of demand for their fins. Meanwhile, Branson is backing the shark conservation campaign after swimming with whale sharks during their annual migration through the Gulf of Mexico.

Shark finning refers to the removal and retention of shark fins and the discarding of the rest of the fish. Studies have shown that up to 73 million sharks per year are slaughtered for their fins to make shark fin soup. It should be noted that the International Union for the Conservation of Nature estimated that 1/3 of shark species are currently threatened with extinction.

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The next time you have that shark fin soup, think of the consequences. We really do not need Yao Ming nor Sir Richard Branson to remind us that shark finning is cruel just for the purpose of allowing us to have that one good soup. Wait, is it really good or I wouldn’t lose half of my life for not having it?