In a bizarre and completely unacceptable move, Hong Kong Disneyland has offered to distribute a leaflet with every bowl of shark fin soup they plan to serve at wedding banquets at the Disneyland Hotel in Hong Kong.
The leaflets will explain that sharks are threatened and that the fins are cruelly removed and the live sharks are sometimes tossed back into the sea to die an agonizing death.
A Disney spokesperson says that this will be an educational campaign. "If customers insist on shark's fin soup we will agree to serve it to them but with a leaflet carrying information on shark fin harvesting," Disney spokeswoman Irene Chan said.
Disney defended its policy saying to not serve sharkskin would be "unthinkable" in Hong Kong where the food is a delicacy and where, because of its high value, its consumption is considered a sign of affluence."
Disney said it will serve shark fin in consideration of "local cultural sensitivities."
What next, whale burgers at Japan's Disneyland or how about doggie burgers for Filipino and Korean customers. Some cultures like cock-fighting and other cultures like monkey brains. If the profit is there will Disney serve baby seal flipper pie?
Disney apparently believes that exploitation of threatened species and cruelty are justified if cultural demands are present and the price is right.
Disney also defended their plans by saying they will buy only from reputable shark fin dealers in Hong Kong. The problem is that there are no reputable shark fin dealers in Hong Kong.
"Hong Kong is the largest entry point in the world for illegally obtained shark fins," said Captain Paul Watson president and founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. "The entire shark fin market is polluted with contraband shark products. Disney must really believe that conservationists are stupid enough to accept their bogus 'education and good faith package.'"
Sea Shepherd will not accept anything less than the complete removal of shark fin soup from the menus of any restaurant or hotel owned by the Disney Corporation.
"Forget about finding Nemo," said Captain Watson. "In a decade we won't be able to find a shark in the oceans and Disney will have contributed to that tragedy. Come on Eisner, you've got enough money, leave the sharks alone."
- Ask Disney to take shark fin soup off the menu at the soon-to-be opened Disneyland Hong Kong Hotel:
Michael D. Eisner
The Walt Disney Company
- Contact the Tourism Commission of Hong Kong:
Tel: +852-2810 3507
Fax: +852-2523 1973
E-mail: via the Commission's preset form
Send letter by mail to:
2nd Floor, East Wing
Central Government Offices
Lower Albert Road, Central
- Educate others about this issue by wearing the new Sea Shepherd T-shirt: