請 Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong 停賣魚翅 Please stop selling shark-fin soup

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(Please scroll down to see the English version) Last updated on May 14, 2011

根據南華早報報導( 2011 年 5 月 9 日),位於樓高 118 層環球貿易廣場頂層,最新開張的香港 Ritz-Carlton 酒店,雖然引入了不少環保的措施(如節省用水等),但郤仍然堅持要賣魚翅。

酒店所屬的萬豪國際(Marriott International)總裁 Mr. Arne Sorenson 說這是為了尊重本地文化云云。

Mr. Arne Sorenson 也許不知道,香港有大部分的市民已經唾棄了魚翅。根據香港大學和 BLOOM 在 2011 年 4 月公佈的調查結果,有八成的受訪者接受在宴會上沒有魚翅,更有九成半受訪者支持香港政府禁止魚翅入口。(見 http://bit.ly/kgJ3s4

在此酒店新張之時,我們呼籲香港 Ritz-Carlton 酒店能夠仿效香港廸士尼和其他飲食集團,尊重大自然,保護海洋生態,立刻停售魚翅。

各位可以用電郵向 Ritz-Carlton 公關部門作出請求,相信酒店會樂於聆聽大家的意見。請同時分寄美國總部和香港分公司。電郵地址及信件樣本會列於下面。

There is a news report by the South China Morning Post (May 9, 2011) about the new luxury hotel Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, which occupies floors 102 to 118 in the new skyscraper ICC in Kowloon, Hong Kong. The hotel has introduced a number of measures to make its operation more friendly to our planet (e.g. reduce the water consumption). However, the hotel has decided that they will serve shark fin soup.

Mr. Arne Sorenson, president and chief operating officer of Marriott International, the owner of the hotel, said the hotel “has to respect the local food culture”.

But Mr. Arne Sorenson didn’t know that a majority of local people in Hong Kong has already given up their appetite on shark fin soup. In April 2011, a survey conducted by the University of Hong Kong and BLOOM, a non-profit focused on marine ecology, revealed that 80% of the respondents considered that it is socially acceptable to have no shark fin soup in a wedding banquet. Furthermore, 95% of them support a ban of the import of shark fin soup. (http://yhoo.it/lykYft )

We petition that Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong can follow the example of Disneyland Hong Kong and other restaurants and stop selling shark fin soup.

You can send an email to the Corporate Media Relations Department of Ritz-Carlton. I think they will be glad to hear your opinions. Please send to both the Headquarters and the Hong Kong office. The email addresses and a sample letter is listed below.

====================================================

RITZ-CARLTON: CORPORATE MEDIA RELATIONS

Vivian A. Deuschl
Corporate Vice President, Public Relations
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C.
4445 Willard Avenue, Suite 800
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
Phone: (703) 941-6225
Mobile: (202) 255-5786
Fax: (703) 941-7492
Email: newsroom@ritzcarlton.com

ASIA
Daniel Ford
Regional Director Public Relations, Asia Pacific
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company L.L.C.
Suite 1108, Tower One, Lippo Centre,
89 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong
Phone: + 852 3760 9219
Email: daniel.ford@ritzcarlton.com

SAMPLE LETTER

Dear Ms. Deuschl, Mr. Ford,

We read with disappointment from a South China Morning Post’s report (May 9, 2011) that your new hotel in Hong Kong plans to sell shark fin soup.

Shark populations worldwide are facing massive decline. Scientists estimate that the fins of up to 73 million sharks are traded globally, that’s 200,000 a day! Sharks cannot keep up with this rate of exploitation as they are slow-growing, long-lived, late to reach sexual maturity and produce few young. The human appetite for shark fin and other shark products simply cannot be sustained.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) maintains the Red List of Threatened Species, the world’s main authority on the conservation status of species. In the 2010 Red List, 74 shark species are listed as at high risk of extinction – with a further 69 species considered to be at high risk in the near future. That is one third of the number of known shark species!

Shark fins are widely regarded as tasteless, yet shark fin soup is considered a delicacy mainly because of the high price of the fins (the taste of the soup comes from the broth). People eat or serve it mostly as a way to show off wealth and status. However, the consumption of shark fin soup is a major factor in declining shark populations, with potentially disastrous impacts on the marine ecosystem.

Because of the high price of shark fins, and relatively low price of shark meat, the wasteful practice of shark finning – the cutting off a live shark’s fins and then throwing the body back to the sea – is highly lucrative. As a result, consumers opting for shark fin soup are encouraging these barbaric and cruel practices (c.f. these videos http://bit.ly/iimEZZ and http://bit.ly/aOOjnq ).

Many major corporations in Hong Kong have pledged not to serve or buy shark fin soup. These include Disneyland Hong Kong, HSBC, the Hong Kong and China Gas Company, Hang Seng Bank, Swire Properties, Canon Hong Kong, the University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Observatory, and 180 primary and secondary schools. (Please see a partial list from WWF-HK’s webpage http://bit.ly/dtkHA1 )

I also would like to draw your attention to the fact that shark fin soup has been banned in Hawaii, and the fact that similar bills to ban shark fin soup are in different stages of legislation in Washington State, Oregon, and California. I believe many other states and countries will adopt a similar ban in the near future.

I think the decision to serve shark fin soup in your new hotel will be a public image disaster – both in Hong Kong and globally. We hope your corporation will reconsider your position on this important matter for the health of our oceans.

Before a public announcement that you will stop selling shark fin soup in your hotels, I will stop staying in anyone of the 3,150 hotels of Marriott International in the world, including Ritz-Carlton, I will also ask my friends and relatives to do the same.

Thank you for your kind attention.

Regards,

[Your name, city, and country]

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12 Responses to 請 Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong 停賣魚翅 Please stop selling shark-fin soup

  1. Adrian Eversley says:

    Please stop supporting the sick barbaric practice of Shark Finning and remove meals containing Shark Fin from the Ritz Carltons menu’s.

    Many Thanks.

  2. terry bull says:

    i urge you to reconsider your menu and remove shark products , the shark population has been decimated by the barbaric practice of shark finning and it is now up to all of us to play our part in trying to help their numbers increase before it’s too late.

  3. Emma Rooney says:

    To cut to the chase, if sharks are rendered extinct – something that WILL HAPPEN in the next 10 years if the destruction of shark spedies contunues at its current rate – life on this planet for air-breathing mammals (such as ourselves) becomes untenable. Why? Well, because sharks are the apex preadtors in the ocean; they keep all marine ecosystems stable. Without them, ocean species further down the food chain will multiply unchecked, resulting in unsustainable amounts of phytoplankton being eaten. This is a huge deal…because 70% of the oxygen WE breathe is produced by the world’s phytoplankton!!

    So, regardless of whether or not you are concerned about contributing to an abhorrent and unspeakably cruel industry….regardless of whether or not you care about helping to wipe out entire species….reagrdless of whther or not you care that shark fins and shark meat contain highly toxic levels of mercury….you really really ought to care about your own ability to BREATHE.

    STOP SERVING SHARKFIN SOUP IN YOUR RESTAURANTS. GET A CONSCIENCE, GET YOURSELF INFORMED ON THIS ISSUE, AND DO THE RIGHT THING.

  4. Chase Richardson says:

    As a vital part of the ecosystem, the shark population must be protected for not only its sake, but for every other creature that benefits from its presence. In an effort to preserve one of nature’s most beautiful and important creatures, I, along with a great number of people, ask that you stop serving any shark’s fin based dish.

    Regards,

    Chase Richardson, Boston, USA.

  5. Sarah H. says:

    Dear Ms. Deuschl, Mr. Ford,

    We read with disappointment from a South China Morning Post’s report (May 9, 2011) that your new hotel in Hong Kong plans to sell shark fin soup.

    Shark populations worldwide are facing massive decline. Scientists estimate that the fins of up to 73 million sharks are traded globally, that’s 200,000 a day! Sharks cannot keep up with this rate of exploitation as they are slow-growing, long-lived, late to reach sexual maturity and produce few young. The human appetite for shark fin and other shark products simply cannot be sustained.

    The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) maintains the Red List of Threatened Species, the world’s main authority on the conservation status of species. In the 2010 Red List, 74 shark species are listed as at high risk of extinction – with a further 69 species considered to be at high risk in the near future. That is one third of the number of known shark species!

    Shark fins are widely regarded as tasteless, yet shark fin soup is considered a delicacy mainly because of the high price of the fins (the taste of the soup comes from the broth). People eat or serve it mostly as a way to show off wealth and status. However, the consumption of shark fin soup is a major factor in declining shark populations, with potentially disastrous impacts on the marine ecosystem.

    Because of the high price of shark fins, and relatively low price of shark meat, the wasteful practice of shark finning – the cutting off a live shark’s fins and then throwing the body back to the sea – is highly lucrative. As a result, consumers opting for shark fin soup are encouraging these barbaric and cruel practices (c.f. these videos http://bit.ly/iimEZZ and http://bit.ly/aOOjnq ).

    Many major corporations in Hong Kong have pledged not to serve or buy shark fin soup. These include Disneyland Hong Kong, HSBC, the Hong Kong and China Gas Company, Hang Seng Bank, Swire Properties, Canon Hong Kong, the University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Observatory, and 180 primary and secondary schools. (Please see a partial list from WWF-HK’s webpage http://bit.ly/dtkHA1 )

    I also would like to draw your attention to the fact that shark fin soup has been banned in Hawaii, and the fact that similar bills to ban shark fin soup are in different stages of legislation in Washington State, Oregon, and California. I believe many other states and countries will adopt a similar ban in the near future.

    I think the decision to serve shark fin soup in your new hotel will be a public image disaster – both in Hong Kong and globally. We hope your corporation will reconsider your position on this important matter for the health of our oceans.

    Before a public announcement that you will stop selling shark fin soup in your hotels, I will stop staying in anyone of the 3,150 hotels of Marriott International in the world, including Ritz-Carlton, I will also ask my friends and relatives to do the same.

    Thank you for your kind attention.

    Regards,

  6. Diane Tait says:

    Please stop killing these majestic creatures for soup which has no place in our society, certainly not by removing the fins from the still live shark then throwing it back to drown a slow death. Thank you in anticipation of you stopping selling this soup.

  7. Ursula Nass says:

    In a time people have learned how vulnerable our planet and how important sustainability is to maintain a healthy ecosystem and environment there should be no place for practices – such as shark finning – that put whole species close to extinction. We consider ourselves civilized, sophisticated, superior, but that also means to act this way, to take response and care for the world we live in. Yet, hundreds of millions of sharks are killed each year – for soup.

    Despite “tradition” being a strong argument not to be treated lightly, it is wrong to act like it is not our business, to close our eyes facing the danger of extinction we have brought to one of the most important species of the oceans, that, in turn, have great influence on all life on earth.

    Popular, globally well-known names, one of which the Ritz-Carlton definitely is, act as a role model for many and can make great changes happen by the choices they make. I am asking you to take meals containing shark from your menu and hoping that you will be making the right choice.

    Thank you.

  8. I will never personally stay in a hotel selling Sharkfin as this not only is obviously a very bad practice that should not be supported but also highlights that the property in question is completely out of touch with the international community and the global problems we all face.
    Leading businesses should recognize they can make a difference.

  9. Elaine Taylor says:

    I have sent this e-mail to them:

    Dear Ms. Deuschl, Mr. Ford,

    You have to STOP serving shark fin soup – Watch this clip http://vimeo.com/19706712 – don’t be a part of Mass slaughter and imminent extinction!!

    You are a part if you order shark fins in for your hotel, if there’s a demand for it, then there’s a market. I have Scuba dived with a few sharks and they are an awesome creature, but they are now such a rare sight in many places around the world. Due to the demand for shark fin soup, sharks are killed before they reach reproductive age, or killed whilst carrying babies. They do not reproduce quickly.

    Asian people are gradually getting the idea that this is bad, so an upstanding company such as yours should not be encouraging those left to request something merely for it’s ‘status’ purpose and not taste. The Shark Fin has no taste!! And when cut from the animal, the animal then suffers a horrible slow suffocation back in the water as it cannot swim…..you should try thinking about that and the images in the link above when you go to bed at night.

    Thank you for your kind attention.

    Regards,

    Elaine Taylor

  10. Emma Banner says:

    Do your part for the planet & prevent selling shark fin soup in your hotel. I would not be happy to stay in any Marriott Hotels or Ritz Carltons in the knowledge that you decide to proceed in playing your part in the distruction of this species.

  11. Marilyn Perona says:

    We humans must live in the 21st century with awareness of our place in the earth’s ecosystem. Finning sharks is cruel, unnecessary, and harmful to the ecosystem. Please make the humane choice and do NOT offer shark fin soup in your restaurants.

    Thank you.

  12. Patrick says:

    More importantly than respecting the “local food culture” the hotel has to respect the GLOBAL ecosystem!! And by serving the soup they are helping to tear apart the biodiversity that the ocean depends on and will have to answer for its eventual collapse. STOP NOW.

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