As a former press photographer I always used to dread Friday the 13th. Not because I’m superstitious but because the editor always expected an outstanding Black Friday photo for the front page. My colleagues and I would be sent out to get photos of black cats and people walking under ladders – often with lame results. However, those memories were quickly forgotten on this Friday the 13th as our team of volunteers created a stunning Black Friday photo opportunity right on the Wellington waterfront.
Black Friday means bad luck and for sharks swimming in New Zealand waters every day is Black Friday. That’s because here it’s still legal to catch and kill a shark, slice off its fins and throw its body back in the ocean. If you follow our blogs you’ll already know that – but most Kiwis don’t.
So, to help make more people aware of the issue we installed 100 handmade shark fins into the lagoon near Te Papa at dawn this morning. To early morning rowers, pedestrians, joggers and office workers it was both a surprising and beautiful sight. Some of them had also seen some orange fins around town which we’d cheekily attached to some well-known Wellington landmarks.
As expected they were shocked when we explained the reason for our shark fin art.
The grey fins in the lagoon represented the almost 100 countries and states, including Australia, USA and all the EU countries, to have banned shark finning while one lonely orange fin represented New Zealand. Our government must join those other countries and ban shark finning in our waters.
The orange fins in strange places symbolized how bizarre it is that 100 per cent pure New Zealand allows the senseless and wasteful practice of shark finning to happen in its waters.
Greenpeace, along with a number of other organisations, is part of the New Zealand Shark Alliance which has run a series of events since Monday promoting NZ’s first-ever Shark Awareness Week. Check out what is happening over the weekend here.
And, if you haven’t already you can pledge your support for a ban on shark finning in New Zealand waters here.