Here's an interesting campaign tactic to help sharks: Anyone with a spare $100 can buy a billboard that features Yao Ming's face and a plea to end shark finning. The billboard will then be placed in a bus stop or other high-traffic area in China for a full year. It's a way to try and spread the word very rapidly about the problem of shark finning. And apparently, it's working. According to Stop Shark Finning, "19% of the people in Beijing surveyed remembered seeing the billboards and 82% of those that say it said they would stop or reduce their consumption of shark fin soup."
So the question is what percentage of shark fin soup-eaters live in Beijing, and where else would this campaign need to spread to really hit home.
Ecorazzi reports, "WildAid has also released a new commercial featuring Ming that is being played on networks throughout China. 'We have species that need our attention and protection,' Yao told reporters at a press conference launching the ad. 'They are endangered by excessive hunting by humans and deprived of habitats due to human greed.'"
Yao Ming has been an advocate for sharks for years, and with his incredible popularity in China, it's no wonder the billboards are effective. Add to that the impacts of recession, and a growing awareness in general and luckily we're seeing the demand for shark fin soup on the decline. With luck, we'll see shark populations start to recover.
More on Stopping Shark Finning
No More Shark Soup--Discovery Channel and John Kerry Fight Finning
9 Shark Attack Survivors Lobby Congress to Protect the Predators
Take Action: Help End Unsustainable Shark Finning