Galapagos Field Report
Latin music sensation Kino Rankins speaks out about illegal shark finning practices within the Galapagos Islands
The music genre known as Reggaeton is sweeping through Latin America and many youth are embracing this music as their own. Puerto Rican reggaeton superstar Kino Rankins was invited to entertain Galapagos residents during the recent presidential campaign in Ecuador. Sea Shepherd Galapagos took the opportunity to invite Kino Rankins to sit down in our office and learn about the problems facing the Galapagos Marine Reserve - especially the threats of shark-finning. We asked for their support in sending a strong message to the youth educating them about the problems facing sharks in the Reserve.
"We were delighted when they accepted our invitation and, as a Puerto Rican myself, I was excited about the opportunity to speak to them about shark-finning - Puerto Rico is known as the enchanted isle and the Galapagos Islands are known as the enchanted isles" says Sean O'Hearn-Gimenez, Sea Shepherd Galapagos Director.
Sea Shepherd Galapagos volunteers sat down with Kino Rankins, accompanied by another Reggaeton star known as Zikario, as well as their DJ and manager, where they were shown a presentation about Sea Shepherd's work and footage of illegal-shark finning activities within the Galapagos Marine Reserve. We also explained how the Sea Shepherd patrol boat, Sirenian, on permanent loan to the Marine Rangers, was directly responsible for the confiscation of over 5,000 shark fins over the last 5 years. We discussed our upcoming campaigns including the creation of educational projects for tourists and local children alike. "Sea Shepherd Galapagos is focusing hard on the shark-finning problems as we believe that sharks are the thermometers of the marine reserve. They are the true indicators of the health of the Galapagos Marine Reserve ecosystem," adds Sean O'Hearn-Gimenez. Kino Rankins, a resident of Florida, was shocked by the cruelty involved in finning sharks - often while they are still alive, throwing their finless bodies back into the water to drown.
Kino Rankins agreed to record several messages for the Galapagos youth and proudly wore a Sea Shepherd shirt in support of our work in the Galapagos Islands. Kino then went on to conduct radio and television interviews where he discussed shark-finning and his support of Sea Shepherd's work on shark conservation. He also made a special announcement at the concert about importance of protecting this paradise. Sea Shepherd Galapagos looks forward to working with Kino Rankins and other Reggaeton superstars in helping us send a message to the Latino youth population about the important role of shark in our oceans.
Kino Rankin dons a Sea Shepherd t-shirt
for the recording of a PSA