On the 4th of August 2014, at Centara Grand Mirage, at least 9 more hotels in Pattaya joined the Fin Free campaign and pledged to end the consumption of shark fins and ban all the shark fin products from their menus.
In an exclusive interview with Sue Kukarja of Pattaya Mail PMTV, Fin Free Thailand Ambassador Cindy Sirinya Bishop talked about the campaign: “Fin Free Thailand is a campaign encouraging hotels and restaurants to stop serving shark fin, in order to protect endangered sharks, marine ecosystems, and people’s health.
“The consumption of shark fin products has been linked with the inhumane slaughter of the ocean sharks with some estimates reaching one hundred million sharks per year being caught for their fins. After the mutilation, the sharks are thrown back into the sea to die.
“We also inform consumers of the serious health and environmental risks of eating shark fin. Scientific studies have shown there are high concentrations of BMAA in shark fins, a neurotoxin that causes several degenerative brain diseases in humans, including Alzheimer’s.”
Asked about the success rates of the campaign in Pattaya, Cindy said it’s very promising as the first time she introduced and talked to Pattaya Mail about this was just over a year ago when dusitD2 baraquda hosted and joined the campaign, and now the list goes on.
Cindy Sirinya Burbridge Bishop, Fin Free Thailand ambassador, and Rattanachai Sutidechanai, chairman of the Pattaya council’s Tourism and Cultural division, present Fin Free awards to representatives of all the participating hotels.
David Good, Vice President – Operations for Centara Hotels & Resorts signed the organization’s “Blue List” business pledge on behalf of the Centara hotels group. He said, “We collectively support the aims of this campaign to raise awareness on the serious environmental impact of shark fin harvesting. This initiative sends a strong statement for sustainable business practices and for preserving our marine ecosystem. If companies and hotels like ours lead the way with more ethical and sustainable actions such as this, then we hope consumers will be better educated and will eventually stop patronizing products that can endanger the environment.”
The hotels in Pattaya and the eastern seaboard that have now joined the Blue List and received the plagues of appreciation include: Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort, Centara Grand Pratamnak Resort, Centara Grand Modus Resort and Spa, Centara Pattaya Hotel, Nova Hotel and Spa, Mercure Pattaya, Pattaya Marriott Resort & Spa, Pullman Pattaya Hotel G, Siam at Siam Design Hotel, dusitD2 baraquda, ONYX Group, and Cape & Kantary Hotels.
After the presentation, the participants from hotels and school children joined in the shark painting activities.
Part of the global Fin Free movement, Fin Free Thailand has been initiated by Freeland Foundation, Love Wildlife Foundation and Change.org Thailand, with support from other partners, including the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the U.S. Embassy Bangkok and several international and local schools.
For more information and how you can join this campaign to go to: Finfreethai.org
The painting skills are oceans apart but it was good fun. Cindy Bishop with Sue from PMTV.