Shark finning has increased over the past decade mainly due to the increasing demand for shark fins in shark fin soup and traditional cures largely in China and Asian countries. In fact, shark fin soup dates back to the Ming Dynasty. Its popularity rose in the late 18th-19th centuries as Chinese people's standard of living had improved and became more affluent. What was considered as a rare delicacies coveted only by emperors, is now an important dish served at occasions such as weddings, banquets, and business deals. Shark fin soup symbolises wealth, power, prestige and honour and by serving this dish, shows respect, honour and appreciation to the guests.
Thus, the way to discourage shark finning is to tackle it from the ground up, by creating awareness and discourage the serving of the dish. With all my new divers, there is always an shark related awareness session along with the skill training. With tools such as the documentary/videos (see attached videos at my page), we look at the cruelty towards this perceived menace of the seas. It is also an on-going education and sharing of news and awareness towards the finning industry of the world with all my divers and colleagues. There are many colleagues and divers who have opted to not serve the shark fin soup during dinners and weddings. In fact, on Sept 15, 2007, Malaysia’s Nature Resources and Environment Ministry banned shark fin soup from all official functions as commitment to the Malaysian Natures Society for the conservation of sharks. This may be viewed as small steps, however, when the buying decreases, so will the killing.
There are also activities that our divers have participated, ie online shark protection petition (with Project Aware), coral planting, reef clean-up, beach clean-up and so on.