NBA star Yao Ming has released a new public service announcement and billboard campaign in China with international conservation group WildAid and Shark Savers. The message shows Yao in a restaurant with a giant aquarium being offered shark fin soup. Yao looks into the aquarium and sees real footage of a live tawny nurse shark dumped on an Indonesian reef with its fins removed to supply the soup trade. Yao and his fellow diners promptly push away the soup. The new multi-media and grassroots campaign is being released in China and around the world.

Fins from up to 70 million sharks a year are used for shark fin soup often with the rest of the body dumped overboard dead or alive. Shark poaching is rife in marine protected areas, such as the Galapagos Islands and Cocos Island. A recent study by the world’s top shark scientists (IUCN Shark Specialist Group) reported that of 64 species of open ocean sharks and rays 32 percent are “threatened with extinction,” primarily due to overfishing.

Sharks are highly vulnerable to overfishing due to their late maturity and slow reproduction. Globally shark catches are unregulated or unsustainable. The shark fin trade is unregulated worldwide.

You can find Yao Ming’s message can be viewed at The say “no” to shark fin soup web site is

California Diving News