by Jennifer Mishler
Categories: Animals, Causes
Tags: , , .
Photo: Virgin

Virgin founder Richard Branson recently teamed up with basketball star Yao Ming to send out an urgent call for shark conservation in China.

The two, along with Virgin Unite and WildAid, are calling for a ban of shark fin soup, a dish popular in Asia. Shark fins are obtained by first catching the sharks, cutting off their fins and throwing them back into the water while still alive. Approximately 73 million sharks are killed each year, a number that is far from sustainable. The practice is continuously opposed by both conservation and animal rights/welfare organizations.

According to The Telegraph, Branson says “The world is getting wealthier. In China in particular people are getting more affluent. And they can now afford to buy shark fin soup. So it is a major problem. And therefore, there is a major battle to try to reverse that trend.” The article also states mentions that 95% of shark fins are consumed in China, where they sell for about two-thousand yuan (over $300 USD) per kilo.

Ming admits having eaten shark fin soup in the past before becoming aware of its toll on sharks and the oceans. According to Virgin, he says “The shark fin soup doesn’t even have any flavor, but more important if you take all the sharks out of the ocean you destroy the ecosystem.” He has teamed up with WildAid in China for sharks before, with a billboard campaign against shark fin soup. Branson has also worked with WildAid, recently swimming with sharks to raise awareness about shark finning.

Check out their video message below!

About Jennifer Mishler

Jennifer Mishler is a writer, and a vegan and animal activist. When she's not writing, you can often find her volunteering or advocating for animal, environmental and human rights causes. Along with writing for Ecorazzi, she has contributed writing for nonprofits like Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and enjoys blogging. She resides in the Washington, DC area (and loves all the vegan food it has to offer). Follow Jennifer on Twitter: @jennygonevegan.

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  • http://www.herwinsvegancafe.com herwin

    thanks for your good work, Branson ! And i don’t care if people call you a cheap hypocrite because you serve Fois Grass in your island resort , a dish that matches shark fin soup in cruelty !!!
    Enjoy your frois grass !!!

  • don_miguelo

    For the ’73 million sharks are killed each year’, Thank you both for taking these steps on this awareness campaign!

  • Carole692

    Good Job!!! People will hear this and wake up one day, I only wish that day comes soon enough >>>>