‘Fin’ is just a Beginning
The short documentary film ‘Fin’ won the ‘People’s Choice’ award at the ‘I Shot Hong Kong’ film festival screenings, held in early July.
‘Fin’ traces the chain of events that leads from the finning of sharks in oceans around the world to the dinner tables of Asia, and is designed to educate consumers so they are able to make the more sustainable choice not to eat shark’s fin.
Film-maker Alex Hofford and photographer Paul Hilton spent three years amassing footage and photos from the beaches of Mozambique and the marketplaces of South Africa, Yemen and Dubai – as well as the shark fin shops of Sheung Wan in Hong Kong.
Their aim was to show the unsustainable way that sharks are being harvested to feed demand from chiefly Chinese consumers for a dish which appears on the menu at many special occasions, especially wedding banquets.
Documentary film-makers Josefina Bergsten, Andy Limond and Claire Garner, used this footage as the backbone of ‘Fin’, adding interviews with marine biologists, several shark fin dealers and a wedding planner, who talked of how couples can be led to consider not requesting the dish for their big day.
Attendees of the ‘I Shot Hong Kong’ festival voted for their favourite short film out of twelve finalists, each no more than 15 minutes long. For more details of the festival, go to www.ishothongkong.com.
The filmmakers plan to turn this short into a longer feature, and will also release stills shot on location in a book called ‘Man & Shark’ which will be available this year.
The HK Shark Foundation (HKSF) is part of MyOcean, a registered Hong Kong charity dedicated to marine conservation. HKSF exists to raise awareness about the unsustainable pressures on shark populations around the world, in particular the pressure brought about by the practice of shark finning.
Sharks are apex predators and therefore a crucial part of the marine food chain. Excessive demand for shark products has contributed to the rapid decline of many species, with several nearing extinction. Removing sharks from our oceans holds unknown consequences for the balance of marine ecosystems.
At least 50% of the world’s shark fin is traded through Hong Kong, making HKSF wellplaced to make a difference. To know more, or to find out how you can help, go to www.hksharkfoundation.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org or look up HK Shark Foundation on Facebook.
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