Editorial 116

Editorial #116 by Dave Moran

Dedication to Diving and Water Safety rewarded

One of New Zealand’s most hard working individuals involved in the sport of Diving and Water Safety has been recognized in the New Year Honours for his contribution.

Alan Warner was made a Companion of the Queen’s Service Order. A volunteer for more than 40 years, he has worked to reduce drowning and injury from water activities.

Alan has been involved in diving since the sixties. He has had a hand in numerous diving related activities with the New Zealand Underwater Association (NZUA) some of which are: National Sporting Committee member and treasurer; Executive Board member for the association; Forging the partnership between PADI and the NZUA; chairman of the committee that organized the Associations 50th birthday celebrations; Trustee of the New Zealand Underwater Trust.

The NZUA recognized his efforts in 1993 by making him a Life Member.

He has chaired the Water Safety New Zealand Board since 1996 and established Drownbase, an integrated drowning database.

He sits on the Drowning Prevention Council and was involved in the establishment of Swim for Life, the first major promotion of learning to swim.

Congratulations Alan from all divers in New Zealand for your past and continuing contribution to the sport we all love.

Shark fin Banquet

The Regal Kowloon Hotel, Hong Kong is into serving its guests shark fin dishes in a big way!

The information on their web site has in part, the following:

With the coming of the Lunar New Year, chef Tommy Luk, Executive Chinese Chef of the Hotel has designed an array of shark fin specialties cooked in both traditional and creative ways to impress all diners, which are now offered at Regal Court from January 16 to March 15, 2010.

Some of the 11 specialties listed as ‘The Best Taste of Shark’s Fin’ include:

  • Deep-fried Shark’s Fin Rolls with Salmon
  • Steamed Shark’s Fin and Lobster Rolls with Crab Meat and Roe
  • Braised Superior Shark’s Fin Wrapped with Pan-fried Egg White
  • Double-boiled Shark’s Fin Soup with Fish Maw and Sea Cucumber in Papaya
  • Shark’s Fin, Lobster and Abalone with Vermicelli in Soup

It is well documented that shark numbers world wide are declining especially in waters surrounding Asian countries where shark fin products have been part of their dining culture for many years. Diners were mainly wealthy individual/companies that could afford the prices. With the emerging middle class who can now afford to splash out on dining on shark fin based food the pressure to supply restaurants /hotels has increased exponentially.

Are diners aware how the fins are harvested? Are diners aware that sharks are in rapid decline? How do you remove the demand?

In my interview with Ady Gil captain Peter Bethune, (page 42) he comments that in his opinion the only way to stop the Japanese whaling is to make whaling commercially uneconomical for the whalers. He has a very good point.

Removing shark fin from menus will only occur when diners refuse to request such meals.

Restaurants/hotels could also be proactive by removing shark fin meals off their menus but, with a good profit to be had, that is unlikely.

Can you be proactive in trying to bring about change?

In New Zealand and Australia there are many restaurants/hotels that serve shark fin. If you see shark fin on the menu – walk out.

Use the social network of Facebook and Twitter etc to make a point of bringing to people’s attention what restaurants/hotels to avoid. Email the establishment voicing your concern about them having shark fin on their menu. It can be done! We advised Travel Blackboard (


) what Regal Hotel was promoting, it was quickly removed from their site.

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