Activists advocating for the British Parliament to enact a shark fin import ban are doubling down on their efforts to ensure lawmakers listen to them.
A petition that would ban the import of shark fins into the UK so far has garnered more than 100,000 online signatures.
The trouble is that advocates fear losing an “Early Day Motion” if members of Parliament haven’t been galvanized to actually do something about it.
Dive industry stalwart and SITA Board Member Rosemary Lunn is calling on British divers to write to their MP, to encourage them to support banning the import of shark fins into the UK:
“There has been a sustained lobbying over many years by the likes of ‘Bite-Back Shark & Marine Conservation’ and ‘Shark Guardian’ to ban shark fin imports. Bite-Back has run a number of successful campaigns including ‘Hacked Off’ and ‘No Fin To Declare.’ As a result the charity was able to declare in 2018 that the number of British restaurants serving shark fin soup had reduced by 82%.
“Parliament has been petitioned many times. In the last couple of days we have seen Shark Guardian’s petition successfully hit critical mass – at the time of writing this, 113,219 people have signed calling for a debate in Parliament. Because over 100,000 have signed, this will now be considered.”
Hitting that signature milestone doesn’t mean it’s time to celebrate, according to Lunn:
“It is just one step in the journey to ban shark fin imports. We now need divers to lobby their local MP to support this Early Day Motion so that it gains traction. EDM can fail if high-profile and senior MPs from both sides of the house don’t back it.”
If you’re a British citizen, you can find the address of your MP here.
John Liang is the News Editor at DeeperBlue.com. He first got the diving bug while in High School in Cairo, Egypt, where he earned his PADI Open Water Diver certification in the Red Sea off the Sinai Peninsula. Since then, John has dived in a volcanic lake in Guatemala, among white-tipped sharks off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, and other places including a pool in Las Vegas helping to break the world record for the largest underwater press conference.