Yao Ming aims to quell China's appetite for shark fin

NBA star and Shanghai Sharks owner Yao Ming urged China on Friday to say no to shark fin soup to stop the overfishing of some species amid growing demand for the delicacy.

The Houston Rockets centre who recently bought his hometown's professional team, unveiled a television commercial aimed at wealthy Chinese which urges them to stop ordering shark fin soup.

"We have species that need our attention and protection," Yao told reporters at a press conference launching the campaign.

"They are endangered by excessive hunting by humans and deprived of habitats due to human greed."

The television advertisement produced for the San Francisco-based conservation group WildAid shows Yao pushing away a bowl of shark fin soup that is served to him in an upmarket restaurant.

"If you could see how shark fin is made, could you still eat it?" a voice asks as Yao looks at an aquarium in the dining room where a bleeding shark flails after its fin has been cut off.

One by one, sharply dressed diners push their bowls away as Yao says: "When the buying stops, the killing can too."

The ad will air on China Central Television - the government's main broadcast mouthpiece - and on screens in government buildings, a WildAid spokeswoman said.

WildAid President Steve Trent told reporters a recent survey in China found that two thirds of respondents did not know shark fin came from sharks.

Shark fin soup, which can cost more than 100 dollars a bowl, is served at weddings and on important occasions to display wealth, but also because it is believed to improve one's health.

However, Trent said a 2007-2008 WildAid study indicated that a quarter of shark fin samples sold at Hong Kong markets were unfit for human consumption.

He added that high mercury levels commonly found in shark fin increased the risk of infertility and brain damage.

Growing demand for shark fin - driven mainly by Chinese consumers - had caused populations of some shark species to collapse by as much as 99 percent, WildAid said.

The shellfish industry also is threatened by the dwindling shark numbers, Trent said. Sharks help control populations of certain shellfish predators, which have multipied wildly.

"With China's leadership, we can save the world's sharks," Trent said. "With Yao's help, this will happen a lot quicker."

Yao, who has been ranked as China's most successful celebrity six years running by Forbes magazine, has been a spokesman for shark preservation since 2006 and bought the Sharks basketball team in July.

"Hopefully in future our kids will learn about sharks not only from our team, but they can still see live sharks in the ocean - not too close," he told reporters after the news conference.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

News
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law
news

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    SCRUM Master

    £30 - 50k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a SCRUM Master to joi...

    Franchise Support Assistant

    £13,520: Recruitment Genius: As this role can be customer facing at times, the...

    Financial Controller

    £50000 - £60000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: A successful entertainment, even...

    Direct Marketing Executive - Offline - SW London

    £25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A fantastic opportunity h...

    Day In a Page

    Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

    A new American serial killer?

    Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
    Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

    Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

    Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
    Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

    Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

    Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
    Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

    Wildlife Photographer of the Year

    Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
    Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

    Want to change the world? Just sign here

    The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
    Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

    'You need me, I don’t need you'

    Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
    How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

    How to Get Away with Murder

    Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
    A cup of tea is every worker's right

    Hard to swallow

    Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
    Which animals are nearly extinct?

    Which animals are nearly extinct?

    Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
    12 best children's shoes

    Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

    Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
    Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

    Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

    Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
    Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

    Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

    Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
    Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

    Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

    Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
    British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

    British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

    Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
    Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

    Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

    UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London