There is no doubt that the trade in shark fins has been devastating to the world’s shark population. Certain shark species have witnessed a 98 percent decline in their numbers over the past fifteen years, while over two hundred others are listed as endangered by the International Shark Foundation. Approximately 100 million sharks are killed by humans every year, with an estimated 73 million of this number falling victim to the shark fin trade.
The practice of de-finning a shark is cruel and largely unregulated. The most common method of performing the procedure is to simply cut off a shark’s fins while the animal is fully conscious. The rest of the shark’s body is useless to fishermen, so the animals are then thrown back into the sea, to die a slow and agonizing death.
Shark fin soup has long been regarded as a traditional delicacy in China, but a series of creative social awareness campaigns have endeavored to change the Chinese public’s perception of the dish in recent years, and help them to realize that it is, in fact, driving the shark to extinction. Last year, it was reported that Guangzhou – the focus of the country’s shark fin trade – had seen an 82 percent decline in sales. In the same year, Philippine Airlines agreed to stop transporting shark fins. When United Parcel Service (UPS) announced back in August that they, too, would no longer ship shark fins, this was also hailed as a major victory.
However, the fact that FedEx continues to facilitate the shark fin trade by shipping their products has been a cause for growing concern among animal activists around the world. The “Racing Extinction” team – responsible for the incredible documentary of the same name that is now taking the world by storm – has turned their attention to the problem by urging Tumblr followers to Call Out FedEx!
They said, “FedEx has a choice to make. Are they going to join UPS and other shipping companies and stand up for sharks, or are they going to continue contributing to sharks’ extinction? Now is the time for us all to do our part to save sharks, and demand that FedEx stop shipping shark fins. The company is beginning to sweat and has acknowledged our request to make change to their policy and has pushed our request up to their senior leadership.”
They are urging people to call FedEx CEO, Fred Smith, and deliver a simple message demanding that his company act to save sharks. The phone number for Carmine Echols, Fred Smith’s executive assistant, is 901-369-3600. The Racing Extinction team has provided two potential scripts – both long and short – that people can follow for their phone call.
“Thirty seconds of your time will make all the difference,” the team has vowed … and you can do your bit to help save sharks by taking that time today.
Sign this petition and urge FedEx to stop shipping shark fins, NOW!
Lead image source: Racing Extinction/Facebook