From May 15-18, 2014, Fin Free Thailand joined the Thai Travel and Dive Expo to promote the campaign and broader shark conservation awareness. Dive tourism is a large industry in Thailand and with more than 100 million sharks a year being slaughtered for their fins worldwide; the global dive tourism industry stands to lose millions as healthy shark populations relate directly to healthy ocean ecosystems.
During the expo, Fin Free Thailand encouraged people to get involved with the campaign through a new shark painting awareness activity aimed at promoting shark and ocean conservation as well as the Fin Free campaign. Thousands a visitors attended the event with hundreds signing personal pledges to never consume shark fin soup, a main driving factor in the serious decline of shark populations.
Fin Free Thailand began in 2012 with support from the USAID-funded Asia’s Regional Response to Endangered Species Trafficking (ARREST) Program. Freeland, the lead implementing partner of ARREST, launched the campaign in partnership with Love Wildlife Foundation and Change.org Thailand.
Fin Free Thailand has encouraged more than 100 hotels and restaurants to refrain from selling shark fin soup at their establishments and will continue to work throughout Thailand with the ultimate goal of ending shark fin consumption in the country.
Source: USAID/RDMA Regional Environment Office Weekly Update