'Finathon' helps raise awareness

Dunedin diving instructor Chris Zinsli prepares to take part in a marathon swimming event to raise awareness of the practice of shark finning, at Moana Pool yesterday. Photo by Craig Baxter.
Dunedin diving instructor Chris Zinsli prepares to take part in a marathon swimming event to raise awareness of the practice of shark finning, at Moana Pool yesterday. Photo by Craig Baxter.
An event aimed at raising community awareness about the practice of shark finning went swimmingly at Dunedin's Moana Pool yesterday.

Event co-ordinator Emma Young was pleased with the community response to the swimming ''finathon'', which attracted about 45 swimmers, young and old, between 2.45pm and 6pm yesterday.

Ms Young is also recreation manager at Dive Otago Ltd, which has been supporting the international campaign against shark finning.

More than $2500 had recently been raised in Dunedin to support the campaign, including through sponsored participation at yesterday's event, she said.

The international shark-fin industry is driven by demand from East Asian countries where the fins are the main ingredient in shark fin soup.

Shark finning is illegal in 98 countries, including Australia and the United States, but it is legal to remove shark fins in New Zealand if the shark is already dead.

Critics say that the removal of shark fins is environmentally unsustainable, and that in some cases only 2% of the shark is used, with the rest thrown away.

 

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