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Reports from HPR's Dave Lawrence

WildAid Adds Thai TV Star to Speak for Sharks Campaign


Nonprofit WildAid have been joined in their effort to end shark fin consumption by a leading TV actor in Thailand. Pong Nawat Kulrattanarak has recorded a PSA describing the painful way sharks have their fins cut off and are often thrown back into the ocean to feed an industry based around shark fin soup and other shark consumption. The TV star is known as a diving enthusiast, and in his dramatic message he urges the public not to consume shark fins at a number of events they are commonly served at: weddings, family gatherings, business meetings or other forms of celebratory gatherings. 

Known for lead roles in both Thai and Chinese TV dramas, the video opens with the actor doing a dramatic read, describing what it is like for a shark to be pulled from the ocean and brutally slashed apart with a knife, his words accompanied by graphic video that shows the horrible, cruel fate sharks face. “I speak for sharks as they are unable to. Every year up to 73 million sharks are killed for shark fin soup”, the actor explains. When the buying stops, the WildAid slogan goes, so can the killing, a phrase they apply to a number of critical wildlife crises driven by Asia Pacific consumers, in which the nonprofit gets famous stars like Yao Ming and Jackie Chan to advocate on behalf of endangered species like pangolins and rhinos.

The message is called “Speak for Sharks” and the actor, also an avid diver and SCUBA enthusiast, said of the animals “Encountering sharks during my dives brings me extreme joy. In recent years, sighting sharks in the ocean has become more and more difficult. Sharks are vital to the balance of the ocean’s ecosystem ad we need to realize that before it’s too late”, he warned, adding “I urge everyone to say no to shark fin and all shark-related menus, and help protect the oceans by making “Celebrate with No Shark Fin” the new norm for all occasions”. You can see and share the video below.

Dave Lawrence is the local host of All Things Considered, Road Stories (formerly Off the Road), and Stargazer.
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