🌊 Jawsome shark conversationalist Andy Cornish
Leader of the Week | Local Andy Cornish from the WWF talks cool shark facts and protecting this endangered animal in Hong Kong
Hi, I'm Andy Cornish and I work to conserve nature in Hong Kong and beyond. Since 2014 I've been leading WWF's global conservation programme Sharks: Restoring the Balance. You can read more about this work and my growing up in Hong Kong here.
All about sharks: They’re more goofy than dangerous
Still thinking of “Jaws” and blood-thirsty monsters when you hear the word “shark”? What if I tell you that there are over 1,200 shark and ray species out there, including some very tiny and shining ones (Lantern Shark), very intelligent “Birds of the Oceans” (Manta Rays), and quite eccentric-looking creatures (Wobbegongs or Sawfishes)?
Really, most of them are not scary at all! But apart from the looks and character, sharks and rays also help other species, marine ecosystems, and us – people – in many different ways (e.g. helping phytoplankton to grow)!
Now that you know how important sharks and rays are, you’ll be shocked to hear that species living in the open ocean – oceanic sharks and rays – have lost nearly 3/4 of their global populations since 1970 due to overfishing! At WWF, we have recently launched an urgent call to action to help save these animals for future generations
Want to know how you can help? Check this out.
Anyway, if you’re hitting the sea this summer to swim/snorkel/dive but each time you’re still scared of sharks lurking underwater?
Want to know how dangerous sharks in Hong Kong really are? Watch this!
If you care about the sharks as much as I do, hopefully you do after reading the above. Please help this petition to tackle the out-of-control illegal wildlife trade in our city reach its goal of 10,000 signatures.
By the way, a bit of non-Shark related coverage.
Hong Kong Confidential by Jules Hannaford is a great podcast (nearly 200 to choose from covering a whole bunch of local topics).
Protect our Wildlife
While I'm sure you all love Hong Kong as much as I do, you might not know that our city is a global hub for illegal wildlife trade. Luckily, the local customs are doing a really good job, regularly seizing illegal shipments, including illegal shark fins! At the end of June, the customs seized nearly 3 tonnes of suspected fins from guitarfishes – a critically endangered ray species (a flat relative of sharks), which is on the verge of extinction. No arrests have been made yet.
Fingers crossed wildlife crime is finally added under OSCO so that such criminals can be pursued with the full force of the law!
Did you know that Hong Kong ranks #2 in terms of seafood consumption in Asia? We consume 66.5kg of seafood per person every year – 3 times the global average! It is crucial to choose sustainable seafood to ensure that future generations can still get nourished by the sea. Ever in doubt which seafood available in Hong Kong’s shops and markets is sustainable? The latest online version of WWF-HK’s Sustainable Seafood Guide is coming to the rescue!
So now we all know about Sharks. But do you know where to see sharks? Paid Tide readers do.
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