For immediate release
World exclusive: Shark plankmob to hit the streets of Mong Kok
On Sunday 25 September 2011, the Hong Kong Shark Foundation (HKSF) will be bringing a world first to Hong Kong… a shark-saving “Plankmob”.
The “Plankmob” picks up on the new worldwide craze of “planking” — where individuals lie face down in an unusual position or location and post the photo on the internet. With a rallying cry of “Shark-finning is a Crime against the Environment”, the charity aims to attract participants of all ages to plank simultaneously amongst the weekend crowds of Mong Kok, lying like the victims of a crime scene but with fins strapped to their backs.
Participants will meet at a given place and time, publicized on Facebook. Only once everyone has arrived will the final time and location of the actual Plankmob be announced. Everyone is asked to wear a blue or grey top/shirt and is invited to design and make their own shark fins, ideally through recycling other items. Prizes will be given to the best ‘plankers’ and photos of the different planks will also be displayed on the group’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/HKSharkFoundation). Prize sponsors are EC® Eternal Concepts, photographers Alex Hofford and Paul Hilton.
The Plankmob is the third in HKSF’s popular series of flashmob-style silent protests in support of shark conservation. The last, ‘Freezemob ii’, was held in May of this year and attracted over 350 people to hold stationery poses in front of bemused tourists and locals on Tsim Sha Tsui’s Avenue of Stars. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUPk6p1bXNw)
With California being the most recent U.S. State to implement legislation against shark fin, HKSF suggests now is the time for the Hong Kong Government to step up to the plate.
“According to global trade figures, Hong Kong is still shark fin central… but the tide is definitely turning as more and more Hong Kongers realise that shark fin soup comes at a price our oceans cannot afford to pay” said HKSF’s Bertha Lo.
As apex predators at the top of the food chain, sharks play a vital role in maintaining the delicate balance of our marine ecosystems. So it is all the more concerning that, according to the 2010 IUCN Red list, over one third of all shark species are already threatened, or near threatened, with extinction. The demand for shark fin soup is largely to blame.
Therefore, as part of a coalition of NGOs, HKSF last week submitted a letter to the Government as part of the public consultation preceding the Chief Executive’s 2011-12 Policy Address next month. The letter cites a recent survey which showed that 85% of Hong Kongers express support for a ban on the import of shark fin into Hong Kong – it also asks the government to pledge not to consume shark-related products at government functions and, at the very least, to introduce measures to better monitor Hong Kong’s shark fin trade. So the question now is, will the HKSAR Government ride the wave in support of sharks or get washed up in an environmental crime scene?
When: Sunday September 25th, 2:00-3:30pm
Where: Meeting point at Mong Kok Road Playground, 659 Shanghai Street (final location to be revealed on the day).
Participants are asked to bring their own homemade shark fins, ideally from recycling other items (a restricted number of ready-made fins will be available on first come first serve basis) and to plank or freeze in their chosen position on a covered area for 30 seconds.
“Plankmob” Facebook event details:
Sample planking video:
Ms. Tina Chu
HK Shark Foundation
Ms. Bertha Lo
About Hong Kong Shark Foundation (HKSF)
HKSF is a Hong Kong based charity dedicated to raising awareness of the plight of
sharks and to reducing consumption of shark products, primarily sharks fin soup. Our
message is one of sustainability and our work comprises grassroots consumer
awareness raising campaigns, educational programmes, corporate advocacy and
political lobbying. HKSF is also a member of the global shark conservation
organisation Shark Alliance and works collaboratively with like-minded organisations
both in Hong Kong and around the globe.
For more information, please visit:
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