JCI Tanjung Aru

“Sabah reef Shark populations have fallen by 98 per cent in 15 years” 

stated by Late Prof Steve Oakley, the Technical Advisor of  Sabah Aquarium and Science Discovery Centre. 

Malaysia is ranked as the world’s ninth largest producer of shark products and third largest importer in volume (United Nations, 2015). WWF-Malaysia’s Marine Program estimates 84% of imported shark fins were eaten domestically with an average of 1,384 metric since 2005. Serving Shark fin soup at Chinese Wedding Reception Dinner was a major motivator for shark hunting. 

Sharks play important roles in sustaining ecosystems below the water. Sustaining sharks will sustain oceans and seafood. Cutting short the shark’s existence will cut short our own supply of seafood and food security. Thus, shark survival ensures human survival. In terms of economics, Shark extinction will surely affect Sabah tourism industry contributing RM237 million in 2011, especially Diving tourism. 

Hence, JCI Tanjung Aru initiated “Say No To Shark Fin Soup” in 2011

  • To educate Chinese consumers to remove shark fin soup from wedding dinner menu
  • To urge local restaurants and hotels to serve no shark fin soup
  • To influence the lawmakers to ban shark finning in Sabah.  

Project Result(s) / Impact(s) 

Inspired more than 12,000 Shark Ambassadors in Sabah and the World.

Sabah State Government has decided to ban Shark fin soup in all Government Official Dinner in 2011, followed by Malaysian Federal Government in May 2014. 

More than 80 major hotels and restaurants in Malaysia, including 85% of Kota Kinabalu Major Hotels, had committed to being environmentally responsible by not serving Shark Fin soup. This is crucial in ensuring the success of sustainable management of marine resources in Malaysia.

Extensive public awareness has been raised on United Nation Sustainable Development Goal No. 14 Life Below Water to protect the ocean for future generations. This is owing to the project exposures via media, social media promotions and collaboration with various NGOs and corporates. The project was featured in 5 national and local newspapers reaching 28 million citizens. 

The Shark Runner 2017 and 2018  “Save Sharks, Stop Finning” Organized by JCI Tanjung Aru have empowered 9 youth non-governmental organisations and more than 12,000 youths “Shark Ambassadors” for future Shark Protection Movements and continue to promote shark conservation among their peers and communities.. More than 28 corporates took responsibility for environmental and social wellbeing by supporting this Project.

The tagline for United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) is “Leaving No One Behind.” Please explain how the nominated project helps to realize and advance the commitment of UNSDGs for the future. Highlight any other SDG(s) that your project has directly or indirectly created positive impact to people and society 

UNSDG Tagline “Leaving No One Behind”, where People must be included in the progress, at a rate which, at a minimum, does not widen the gap between them and everyone else. Sustaining sharks will sustain oceans and seafood. Sharks help maintain the health of coral reefs and protect vital sea habitats. Cutting short sharks’ existence will cut short our own supply of seafood and food security. Consumers, businesses and government work together to minimise human impacts on sharks and the marine ecosystems to ensure no one is left behind.

JCI Tanjung Aru’s Say No To Shark Fin Soup “Imperial Gourmet Soup Challenge” held in 2012 has gained momentum globally and nationally with many major restaurants and hotels taking it off their menus and providing alternatives. 71% of the Earth’s surface is covered by the ocean. Ocean contains 99% of the Earth’s living space and a huge amount of biodiversity. Scientists believe that there are approximately 240,000 marine species. We also rely on the oceans for much of our food. If we do not practice sustainable fishing methods and manage marine resources responsibly, we will leave an impoverished ocean for the future generations. 

“Leaving No One Behind” emphasis on who benefits as on what has been delivered. “The Shark Runner 2017” has attracted more than 1,000 participants and gathered 80 volunteers for this awareness run. Runners ran with their jerseys back equipped with “shark fin” and were “hunted” along the race route by “hunters”, to enable the runners to experience the dreadful feeling of sharks being hunted by fishermen. More than a fun run, this run has benefited the community especially the youths by delivering a strong Say No To Shark Fin Soup.  

Over the years, a series of activities under JCI Tanjung Aru’s Say No To Shark Fin Soup has inspired and empowered more than 6 NGOs and 300 volunteers to carry out their own future community projects benefiting our Mother Earth. A sustainable project whereby a bigger project is coming up in September 2018 which is the Shark Carnival, which comprises health awareness, education and Say No To Shark Fin Soup awareness. For SDG 17 Partnership for Goals, this Project has led to strong partnership between the Government, World Wildlife Federation (WWF), Sabah Green Connection, Sabah Sharks Protection Association (SSPA), Kota Kinabalu Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KKCCCI), non-profit organisations such as JCI Kepayan, JCI Lintas, Young Malaysians Movement (YMM), Pertubuhan Gerakan Belia Bersatu Malaysia (GBBM), Persatuan Harmoni Mesra (Hunger Movement) and The Sabah Society, 15 Corporate Partners from difference sectors, 8 Chinese primary schools and kindergarten to promote Say No To Shark Fin Soup, which is also one of the very important elements to achieve the final goals and to ensure sustainability of this Project.

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