Campaigners for shark conservation staged a peaceful protest outside a Gold Coast seafood restaurant at the weekend in their quest to ban the sale of shark-fin products in Australia.
The action follows recent incidents of sharks being killed for their fins off the NSW coast near Ballina and the conviction last week of a commercial fisherman for killing a protected shark.
The protesters say shark fin soup has led to the extermination of 90 per cent of all sharks over the last decade and that ‘without action, sharks will become extinct’.
The Surfers Paradise restaurant specialises in shark’s fin soup, which it openly advertises, which is why Andrew Archer, also known as The Shark Guy, and Lawrence Stanley, from the Planet Earth Herald, targeted it in their protest.
The restaurant buys shark fins for its soup from an importer.
Mr Archer told Echonetdaily that he’d been diving with sharks for years, fed and patted them and was upset at their slaughter, so decided to do something about it.
He learnt how to film underwater and bought a deep-sea boat as it was ‘time to make a difference and protect sharks’.
Mr Archer said he was currently producing a short film on ‘what’s happening in our oceans’.
According to the Australian Society for Marine Conservation, around 240,000 sharks are slaughtered daily to meet the global demand for shark fins to make soup.
The fins are harvested by cutting them from live sharks, which are then discarded back into the ocean to bleed out and die.
The commercial and illegal fishermen harvest the fins, which fetch a high price on the global restaurant market. The dried fins are purchased to make soup.
‘Shark fin soup is consumed as a status symbol and is basically a tasteless, odourless broth,’ Mr Archer said.
‘An ocean without sharks will devastate the delicate balance, which ultimately maintains the health of our entire planet.
‘To do nothing is to sign the death warrant of our planet as we know it.’
To support the campaign visit facebook.com/thesharkguy or planetearthherald.com.
Caption: The Shark Guy, right, and Lawrence Stanley during last Saturday’s protest. Supplied photo.