LOS ANGELES (August 8, 2014) — United Conservationists announces the Fin Free™ campaign to ban shark fins worldwide – saving sharks and Shark Week from extinction.

“100 Million sharks are killed each year, mostly to fuel the demand for shark fin soup, decimating shark populations by 90%”, says Rob Stewart – Fin Free founder and director of the multiple award-winning feature documentary SHARKWATER (2006).

Fin Free is the fist of its kind – an open source conservation movement dedicated to educating and empowering the public to get shark fin banned worldwide. As long as fins are readily available for shark fin soup, the process of finning will continue – where fishermen cut off the shark’s fins and throw the dying shark back into the sea, wasting 95% of the animal – an issue first brought into the spotlight in SHARKWATER.

Municipalities, organizations, business leaders, celebrities and people from all walks of life have united to ban the sale, transport or availability of products made from shark fin. Fin Free is working to unite this movement, with partners such as Sir Richard Branson, LUSH Handmade Cosmetics and Future Games of London. Sir Richard Branson, best known as the founder of Virgin Group, is a prime example of a global businessman who understands the delicate balance between making a profit and conserving our planet’s vital resources.

“All of my businesses are Fin Free – and I support the movement to make the world fin free,” said Sir Richard Branson. “With shark populations plummeting, banning the sale, trade and consumption of fins in communities around the world is one of the best ways to help stop the demand for fins and in turn, protect the world’s remaining sharks. I encourage other leaders and businesses to take similar actions towards saving sharks – an animal critical to the health of our oceans.”

LUSH’s Fin Free campaign this Shark Week will donate the proceeds of their limited edition Shark Fin soap to the cause. “We’ve partnered with Discovery Channel’s Shark Week, SHARKWATER filmmaker Rob Stewart and his organization, United Conservationists to raise awareness for sharks and stop the unnecessary slaughter for their fins,” reports LUSH.

Future Games of London, part of Ubisoft is supporting the campaign by integrating Fin Free messaging and alerts in their hit game Hungry Shark Evolution, to expose gamers to the plight of sharks.

Since the release of SHARKWATER and the start of the Fin Free™ movement, over seventy Fin Free chapters have emerged worldwide, with New York, Maryland, California, Delaware, Illinois, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii and Massachusetts all going Fin Free. Dozens of Canadian and international cities, as well as major hotel chains and 42 airlines have also banned shark fin sales and transportation.

The effects are being heard in China as well, where SHARKWATER was seen by more than 120 million people. The country banned shark-fin soup at all government functions, shark fin imports are estimated to have declined by 70%, and major celebrities such as Yao Ming have spoken out against shark fin soup.

“With the disappearance of sharks, en-masse, along with a great many resources that were once in abundance, it’s only a matter of time before we’re next,” said Stewart. “We must turn the tide, we all must work together and we must do it now.”

Through United Conservationists, Fin Free is raising the awareness of shark finning, lowering the demand for products made from shark fins, and bringing together a diverse team of advocates worldwide who are all joining the #FINFREE movement.

If Sharks go extinct, Shark Week goes extinct!

For more information on the Fin Free campaign and how to join:

Sign the Fin Free petition here:

Sources: United Conservationists, Sharkwater Film, FinFree™, Shark Angels and Shark Truth, SHARK WEEK, LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics. Future Games of London



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