Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck Feast on Shark Fin Soup in
Good old Uncle Walt must be turning over in his grave.
Michael Eisner has made it plain that everything Disney has stood for has
been a fraud. The bottom line is money.
Money, money, and more money, and they don’t seem to care
how they get the money.
Screw Bambi, the real spirit of Disney is symbolized more
by Cruella DeVille than by Snow White or Tinkerbell.
If the price is right, Eisner will serve any creature on a
The Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel is hosting Chinese banquet
wedding receptions starting at HK$11,457 (US$1,472) a table. The most
expensive package is HK$15,857 (US$2,080) per table.
Although Disney claims to be environmentally friendly, the
Disneyland Hotel is serving – shark fin soup for elite guests.
A bowl of shark fin soup averages US$400 in Hong Kong.
Shark populations are crashing worldwide because of both
the legal and the illegal trade in shark fins. The sharks are captured on
linglines, the fins are sliced off, and then the sharks (many still alive)
are tossed back into the ocean. This is a worldwide problem. Shark fins
are making their way to Asia from Central and South America, from Africa
and from India. There is no safe place for a shark in the world’s oceans
because of this trade.
Yet Disney public relations manager Esther Wong, said in a
prepared statement, "Hong Kong Disneyland takes environmental stewardship
very seriously but we are equally sensitive to the local cultures.” It is
customary for Chinese restaurants and 5-star hotels to serve shark fin
soup in Hong Kong as the dish is considered as an integral part of Chinese
In other words environmental stewardship means little to
Disney and maintaining the five stars takes precedence. Apparently to earn
five stars, a restaurant must contribute towards making sharks extinct.
The eating of shark fin soup is considered a sign of affluence in Hong
Kong, and not serving it at a wedding banquet is considered to be a “loss
Hong Kong has refused to sign any international
conservation treaty that opposes the trade in shark fin. Shark fin soup is
legal in Hong Kong but the official Disney policy, found on its Web site,
states the company will "work to identify issues that may not yet be
identified in the law, but could result in adverse environmental
A 2004 survey by The International Union for the
Conservation of Nature found that out of 262 shark species around the
world, 56 were endangered. The National Geographic Society reported in
2003 that 50-85 percent of the world's shark fin trade came through Hong
Kong. China exports 4,000 tons of the fins a year, according to a Toronto
Globe and Mail report.
Shark fins are big business in Hong Kong, both legally and
illegally. A paper by Peter Gastrow, of the Organized Crime and Corruption
Programme with the Institute for Security Studies in South Africa, said in
a 2001 report that Hong Kong triads have been linked to the shark fin
trade in South Africa.
The Hong Kong Tourist Board is also encouraging the shark
fin trade. A letter from Selina Chow, the chairman of the board, on July
11, 2002 wrote in an email to Tristan Green, a Hong Kong diving club
member, "Shark fin is a legal product in Hong Kong and it would be
untenable for us to discriminate against shops or restaurants offering
this product by refusing to list them in our publicity.''
All over the world the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
is encountering and seizing longlines and driftnets that target sharks. We
have documented the slaughter of sharks in the National Parks of the
Galapagos, the Costa Rican National Park of Cocos Island, and the
Colombian National Park of Malpelo Island.
These beautiful and ecologically-beneficial creatures are
being systematically destroyed and for what – so people can demonstrate
that they have wealth, so they can impress their friends and family. This
is not a cultural tradition; it is an exercise in environmental arrogance
and a demonstration of ecological ignorance.
The people who order shark fin soup are contributing to
the demise of hundreds of species of sharks, and for Disneyland Hotels to
be contributing to this diminishment is a disgrace.
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Nevada University Mistreated Research Animals
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