Shark

A viral online campaign positioned against the use of shark meat has led the Food Network to remove all shark recipes from its website.

Change.org, the fastest-growing online organization committed to social change, spearheaded the campaign during the hugely popular Discovery channel programming of “Shark Week.”

After just 10 days of campaigning and more than 30,000 people joining in to voice their opposition to the use of the controversial shark meat, the Food Network removed all shark recipes from their site, and network representative Susan Stockton issued this statement:

As a policy, Food Network and Cooking Channel do not incorporate or showcase recipes that involve animals on endangered species list or the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch list, with the recent addition of sharks to those watch-lists, we will make sure that future content does not highlight shark as an ingredient. We understand there are many species with sustainability concerns, and we make efforts to stay informed and pass that information onto our audience.

An estimated 75 million sharks are killed each year for their fins, which are considered a delicacy in China; and many sharks face extinction, with some species’ populations plummeting by as much as 90 percent in recent years. Sharks are listed on the “Red/Avoid” section of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch guide. Sharks are natural predators, integral to the health of oceanic ecosystems; their dwindling numbers have been linked to a number of unprecedented pressures on other marine species. Hawaii, Oregon and Washington have recently announced statewide bans on the sale of any shark fin products, and California has a similar bill pending approval in the Senate.

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