Saturday, December 29, 2007

Actors help fighting finning in the Galapagos Islands

Actress BO DEREK has recruited action man JACKIE CHAN to her campaign to stop wildlife traffickers around the world. The 10 star has become a keen conservation activist after learning the sharks of the Galapagos Islands have become a target of poachers for their fins. Speaking on CNN show Larry King Live, Derek says, "When I first visited the Galapagos Islands Marine Reserve, I expected to see an untouched paradise.

While it is still beautiful to the naked eye, behind the scenes, all is not well. "While there, I learned that the famous sharks of the Galapagos were under siege for their fins. "According to the Galapagos National Park Service, up to 10,000 fins have been seized, and they are mercilessly hacked off the shark and shipped to Asia to make shark fin soup.

"I was charmed by the playfulness of the fearless and friendly sea lions I swam with. I learned that they, too, are sometimes slaughtered so they can be used as bait for the shark finners. "It made me realise that even the most remote wilderness is now touched by the global economy - in this case, the demand for products derived from protected wildlife."

Derek has since teamed up with San Francisco-based conservation organisation, WildAid, to help in their effort to stop wildlife traffickers, and she has asked Rush Hour star Chan for his help in China. She adds, "Reaching China's 1.2 billion people is no easy task, but by recruiting the likes of Jackie Chan... and, with the support of Chinese state media, we are reaching nearly half the Chinese population with TV messaging."


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