Disney to be a shark fin free zone.
It was a decision that Walt Disney would have made without hesitation when he was alive. Without Walt there at the helm it took a little time, but the Disney Corporation has finally made the right decision by agreeing to ban shark fin soup from the Disneyland hotel in Hong Kong scheduled to open on September 12th, 2005. Sea Shepherd created a special shirt to promote this campaign. The Stop Shark Finning T-shirts, with the artwork created by Dutch artist and Sea Shepherd volunteer Geert Vons, were an important tactic in convincing Disney to defend the sharks and not to contribute to their slaughter by serving the expensive shark fin soup.
The artwork featuring Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck cutting off the fins of sharks with the slogan “Donald Sucks” was reported in the International Herald Tribune, New York Times, and London Times. A week after the story appeared internationally, Disney reversed its decision to serve shark fin soup. They had agreed a week ago to serve only sharks caught from sustainable fisheries but their own research confirmed what Sea Shepherd had already told them – there is no sustainable shark fishery. This is a great victory for the sharks because it sends a message loud and clear that shark finning is a destructive practice that is contributing to the demise of shark populations worldwide.
Sea Shepherd and the Disney Corporation have been confronting each other for a month in the media over this issue. Captain Paul Watson said; “I’d like to thank Geert Vons for his artwork and I would like to thank the Hong Kong Diver’s Association and Brian Darvell and Dave and Nicola Newberry of Hong Kong. Thanks, also, to the SSCS Asia representative Grant Pereira who has been leading the fight to protect sharks for years. And of course, we must acknowledge that the coverage in the New York Times, the London Times, and the International Herald Tribune contributed greatly to Disney’s decision.”