Press Release: SHARK STEWARDS JOINS NEW ZEALAND SHARK ALLIANCE Calls on New Zealand to end Shark Finning in their Waters During America’s Cup

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Contact: David McGuire, Shark Stewards         

  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE    

415) 350-3790, [email protected]

(San Francisco CA 9/8/2013Shark Stewards Joins New Zealand Shark Alliance

Calls on New Zealand to end Shark Finning in their Waters During America’s Cup

The San Francisco based non-profit Shark Stewards is joining the New Zealand Shark Alliance to call for public support to end shark finning in New Zealand.

“We are calling on the visiting sailors and friends to speak out in support of sharks and ocean health during the America’s Cup. While the Alliance is launching Shark Awareness Week in New Zealand, we are helping turn this into a positive win for sharks and New Zealand on the San Francisco Bay," said David McGuire, Director of the shark conservation group Shark Stewards.

It has recently been estimated that 100 million sharks are killed a year just for their fins to supply the shark fin soup trade This practice has been banned by almost 100 countries and states but is still legal in New Zealand.

"It is a senseless waste to be killing sharks just for their fins and dumping their bodies. The Government needs to do the right thing and stop this happening in New Zealand," says Milena Palka WWF-NZ Marine Species Advocate.

The New Zealand Government is about to release its National Plan for Action on Sharks for public consultation. It will set out a plan for sharks for the next five years, and Ms Palka says it is crucial that it commits to a ban on shark finning. “Right now public support for this initiative is critical,” adds McGuire.

The Alliance launched a Shark Awareness Week featuring a series of events that focus on the vital role sharks play in maintaining the healthy balance of the world's oceans, the need for improved shark conservation in New Zealand, including a ban on shark finning. Concurrent activities will occur in San Francisco to engage the sailors and supporters of the America’s Cup in the conservation cause.

Shark Awareness Week is being organized by the New Zealand Shark Alliance – a coalition of organizations that are working together to promote awareness of sharks and the need to end shark finning.

“San Francisco is proud to have Emirates Team New Zealand competing in the America’s Cup on the San Francisco Bay. As fellow sailors and lovers of the sea, we are on the water joining this effort to protect sharks and a shark finning ban in New Zealand.”

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Shark Stewards is dedicated to conserving our ocean resources by saving sharks. Their work is recognized on the state, national and international policy levels around shark finning and the shark fin trade. Each year Shark Stewards reaches over ten thousand students and public locally during talks and events like Sharktoberfest, focusing on saving sharks. Shark Stewards is a non-profit project of the Earth Island Institute.

The New Zealand Shark Alliance is made up of Greenpeace, Forest & Bird, WWF, ECO, Sea Shepard Our Seas Our Future, White Shark Conservation Trust, New Zealand Underwater, Shark Fin Free Auckland, ITM Fishing show, Kelly Tarlton’s, and Earthrace. Shark Stewards Joins New Zealand Shark Alliance as US representative.

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