Friday, May 2, 2014

Making Waves: Sea Save's Week in Review - May 2, 2014


1. New Protein Discovered in Coral Reefs That Can Block HIV
2. "Bite Back" Rally in Manchester, UK
3. China Outlaws the Consumption of Rare Animal Products
4. Sea Save Foundation Attends ADEX in Singapore
5. Marriott International Removes Shark Fin Soup from Menu
6. Starfish Deaths Due to Climate Change


1. New Protein Discovered in Coral Reefs That Can Block HIV



A newly discovered protein in coral reefs may be able to help in the fight against HIV/AIDS and ultimately save millions of lives. Even in small doses, the protein has proven to be extremely potent in blocking the virus from entering T cells, the first step in HIV infection.

Photo Credit: David Yu/Google


The protein also has the ability to block the virus without allowing it to become resistant to other HIV remedies, rendering it very useful in combination with other HIV treatments. Scientists involved have stated that they plan to move forward in produce treatment methods using the protein, but without harvesting the ocean’s supply. "You can't strip the Earth of this coral trying to harvest this protein" states Dr. O’ Keefe. Researchers plan to incorporate the protein into sexual lubricants and gels as a preventative measure against the HIV virus.

2. "Bite Back" Rally in Manchester, UK



An environmental group has begun a campaign aimed at Manchester restaurants, demanind that they terminate all sales of shark fin soup. The group swarmed to the Arndale Centre to rally support and was very successful in engaging the community. The nationwide environmental campaign Bite-Back aims to make Britain one of the first countries in the world to ban the controversial shark fin soup. Their ‘Hacked Off’ campaign has already motivated 16 restaurants in Britain to drop the dish but there are still a further 60 UK restaurants which still serve the controversial Chinese staple.



3. China Outlaws the Consumption of Rare Animal Products


Recent decisions in China have now made it punishable by law to consume or knowingly purchase the biproduct of an endangered animal. The recently passed law protects over 420 different species and carries up to a 10 year prison sentence for violators. 


Photo Credit: The Telegraph/Alamy
With the new law passed, items such as tiger meat, elephant tusks and the coveted shark fin soup, are all included on the list of banned animal biproducts in China.Citizens convicted of eating a protected animal or knowingly purchasing on to do so can face betwen 3-10 years in prison. If China stays true to their word, many critically endangered species, such as the pangolin, siberian tigers and multiple species of sharks, have hope of rebuilding their population. Real the full article at the Sea Save blog by clicking here


 

 

4. Sea Save Foundation Attends ADEX in Singapore



This April, the Sea Save Foundation team attended the 2014 Asian Dive Expo (ADEX), held in Singapore. Our group was highly successful in engaging the community and bringing global awareness to the unsustainable shark finning industry through our "Give Em' The Fin" campaign.

Our campaign was wildly successful, and over 50 % of the images currently displayed in the mosaic were uploaded at ADEX. Participants were asked to take a picture "Giving The Fin" and to upload that image to the mosaic. People were delighted to partake in the campaign and many had their own fun variations on how they participated.

Keep following the efforts of Sea Save Foundation and stay tuned to see how you can help to protect our sharks. We encourage you to also upload photos of you and your friends "Giving The Fin" to our mosaic by clicking hereJoin us. It's Your Ocean. Do Something About it! To read the full article, visit the Sea Save blog by clicking here.


5. Marriott International Removes Shark Fin Soup from Menu



Photo Credit: JW Marriott/AOL Travel
Marriott International, the prominent worldwide hotel chain, announced this week that they not only will no longer serve shark fin soup but that all shark fin products are officially banned from Marriott properties.  Marriott removed shark fin soup from their menus in 2012 and effective July 1st, shark fin will be completely banned. Since the removal in 2012, Marriot has seem a 80% decrease in their use of shark fins, furthering prompting the hotel chain to remove it from their menus.
Other well-known hospitality corporations are following suit and tailoring a more environmentally friendly menu. Starwood Hotels and Resorts have publicly announced that they will terminate the sale of shark fin soup by the end of this year. Hilton has stated that over 96% of their properties in the Asian world would stop taking shark fin orders, and had already eliminated the option for shark fin catered banquets in 2013.

6. Starfish Deaths Due to Climate Change

Marine biologists have cautioned that the mass deaths of starfish along the United States west coast in recent months could also occur in the Caribbean region because of climate change, threatening the vital fishing sector. Starfish eat mussels, barnacles, snails, mollusks and other smaller sea life so their health is considered a measure of marine life on the whole in a given area. In turn, they are eaten by shorebirds, gulls, and sometimes sea otters.

If it turns out that climate change factors such as ocean warming are indeed implicated in the starfish die-off, there is the possibility that the same thing could happen in the Atlantic and affect Caribbean species.


Original Articles
http://www.travelweekly.com/Travel-News/Hotel-News/Marriott-to-stop-serving-shark-fin/
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/276125.php
http://www.iede.co.uk/news/2014_4451/caribbean-fears-loss-keystone-species-climate-change
http://www.mancunianmatters.co.uk/content/010568784-ban-shark-fin-soup-bite-back-campaign-against-manchester-restaurants-get-barbaric

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