Shark finning is banned by many countries but it’s still legal in New Zealand.

Not a lot of people know that. But, thanks to the generosity of our supporters and the creative team at Colenso BBDO, we’ve been able to produce and screen a TV advert  to raise awareness of this senseless and wasteful practice happening in our clean, green and blue waters.

 

The ad shows what shark finning looks like – dragging a shark on board, killing it, slicing off its fins and dumping its body back in the ocean (due to broadcasting standards we weren’t allowed to include the most violent act on TV although, if you can stomach it, it’s included in another video we’ve just released).

Shark finning is not a practice the New Zealand fishing industry, or our government, is keen to promote so finding graphic footage wasn’t easy. Even though 100 million sharks are killed every year, many just for their fins, the act of shark finning is not often caught on film. We’ve used footage shot by Greenpeace crew from the Esperanza while monitoring tuna fishing in the Pacific in 2004 but shark finning doesn’t look any prettier today when Kiwi vessels are doing it.

The 30-second ad ran for the first time on TV3 last night and will be seen by thousands of prime time viewers over four more nights on the same channel. These are expensive slots which we’ve been able to afford thanks to our supporters.

The ad calls on people to support a ban which will soon be up for discussion when the government reviews New Zealand’s laws on shark fishing and conservation. You can also pledge your support right here.

Photo: Blue shark in NZ waters courtesy of Mike Bhana - Wild Film