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From the beaches of Africa to the ports of the Middle East, a shark fin odyssey arrives back at ground zero... Hong Kong.
'Man & Shark' is book, and short film of the same name, which explores the barbaric practice of shark-finning in developing nations, so that consumers in Hong Kong and China can eat shark fin soup at their weddings, company banquets and celebrations.
The multimedia project aims to show why sharks, as the ocean's apex predators, are necessary to keep the marine ecosystem in balance.
'Man & Shark' also bears witness to the ignorance of shopkeepers selling shark fin in Hong Kong. It also explores why Chinese people eat shark fin soup in the first place, and the dangers to human health from mercury poisoning.
'Man & Shark' was conceived in Mozambique, Yemen, and Hong Kong, and includes many underwater images of sharks from all over the world.
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A quick look at the Acknowledgements page of 'Man & Shark' reveals that the images contained inside the book come from no less thanFOURTEEN photographers:-
Paul HILTON Alex HOFFORD Karen STONE Chris FALLOWS Patrick KOSLOWSKI Gary STOKES Lesley ROCHAT Mike & Val FRASER Edward HERRENO Ray MANNING Tony HYMER Justin EBERT Brian SCUDDER
And photographs in the book were taken in TWENTY countries, or areas, around the world:-
FRENCH POLYNESIA MICRONESIA KIRIBATI FIJI SOLOMON ISLANDS VANUATU INTERNATIONAL WATERS OF THE WESTERN PACIFIC (HIGH SEAS) COSTA RICA YEMEN SOMALIA* MOZAMBIQUE SOUTH AFRICA MALDIVES SRI LANKA THAILAND* INDONESIA PHILIPPINES UNITED STATES HONG KONG CHINA
(Asterisks show locations we didn't go to for the book, but sourced material from)
In detail, 'Man & Shark' follows the journey of a shark's fin, from the back of a shark swimming peacefully in the ocean, to when it is brutally sliced off by fishermen. The book documents the continued voyage of that fin as it makes its way by boat to the dried seafood markets of Hong Kong.
From here, the fin is pictured as it makes its final journey through the kitchens of hotels and restaurants in the city, and into a bowl of soup. Ground zero is where the fin finally slips down the throat of a member of the Hong Kong public, who is largely unaware of the devastating effects of his culinary choice on the marine environment.
The book highlights the co-authors combined experience of photographing sharks in the wild, and the savagery of the shark fin trade across the world. Readers will see the extraordinary beauty of these creatures and realize that the choices they make at the dinner table can make a difference to an entire species.
Both Paul and Alex hope their book will highlight the main reasons why the consumption of shark fin soup is so damaging to the marine eco-system, and to the health of the consumer from mercury poisoning. The ultimate aim of the book is to help consumers around the world make an informed choice as to why it is best to pledge not to eat shark fin soup, and to show that sharks are beautiful, yet much maligned, animals that are critical to the continued health of our planet.
Sharks should therefore not be considered as food.
- All proceeds from book sales go to MyOcean, a Hong Kong registered charity with Inland Revenue Department Charity Number: 91/9233.
- MyOcean Ltd's mission statement is to protect and preserve the global marine ecology in Hong Kong, and to educate the public to conserve the global marine ecology in the territory.