We’re looking for European mermaids and mermen for a video on shark protection. As mermaids and mermen, we are of course not only lovers of the oceans but also of their inhabitants. Accordingly, many of us are already actively committed to marine protection and that is great! Sharks in particular need our help right now. You can find facts, information and reasons a little further down on this page.
As EU citizens, we now have the opportunity to vote online to ensure more shark protection in Europe. Take part! Sign the citizens’ initiative and help us to encourage even more people to vote. The European Citizens’ Initiative is the direct way to propose a specific legislative change to the European Commission, in contrast to a petition that is decided by the Petitions Committee of the European Parliament.
Mermaids and Mermen – Send us your videos
Allied as mermaids and mermen, we would like to create a “chain video” in which as many mermaids and mermen as possible take part. The video will create the effect as if we mermaids and mermen pass a sheet of paper with the inscription “www.stop-finning.eu – #stopfinningEU” to each other. It should draw attention to the citizens’ initiative with the statement “I have signed too”. Please follow these steps to participate:
- Sign the citizens’ initiative
- Share the website and get your family, friends and colleagues to sign too
- Print out the A4 document here
- Create a short video of yourself as a mermaid or merman:
- Start by grabbing the document from the right outside the video frame (your right, left for viewers)
- Hold up the sheet of paper and say into the camera “I signed too” (you can do this in English or your mother language; if you like, add a short statement on the subject of shark protection)
- Pass the sheet to the left (spectator right)
- Send us your video including your name by the end of October via WeTransfer to email@example.com
- Video must be filmed in landscape format
- Video can be a maximum of 25 seconds
Why do sharks need protection?
Sharks have roamed the seas of our world for over 400 million years. During this time, the more than 500 known shark species developed perfectly to their respective living conditions to become the top predators in the sea. Their job is to regulate other fish and marine life. Around 73 million sharks die every year exclusively for their fins, which is mainly used in Asia (China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand) as a prestigious ingredient in shark fin soup. This massive overexploitation is endangering the marine ecosystem, as sharks ensure balance through their role as top predators.
What is finning?
Shark fin soup is a delicacy at Asian weddings, cooperative events and birthdays and can cost up to several hundred Euros per bowl. As cartilage tissue, the fin is completely tasteless and is therefore “enhanced” with chicken broth. It has been proven in numerous studies that shark meat is severely exposed to methylmercury. Even small doses of methylmercury can be dangerous for humans, which is why consumption is strongly discouraged for health reasons as well as ecological. “Finning” is considered a brutal practice in which the fins are removed from the shark. During this mutilation, the animals are usually fully conscious and no longer able to swim. As a result, they sink to the seabed, where they bleed to death or suffocate. Finning is an unselective fishing method that does not take into account the type of shark, its size or its age. At the forefront is the greed for profit. With this “space-saving” method significantly more fins can be captured than if the rest of the shark body is also transported. The bycatch, which instead of the sharks gets caught on the countless bait hooks, “longlines”, which drift for miles in the oceans, is also considered unnecessary ballast.
Shark fishing in Europe?
Millions of sharks are caught in Europe every year. Spain, for example, is one of the leading manufacturers of unprocessed shark fins. In 2018, 6,018 tons of the endangered short-fin Mako were landed in the Atlantic by European ships. In the Mediterranean, the WWF recently found that over half of the shark species found there are endangered. One of the reasons: overfishing.
If shark protection is to have a chance in Europe, the trade in shark fins from Europe must be prevented in a meaningful way. That is why the citizens’ initiative demands: The fins must stay on the shark at all times – even when exporting!
The citizens’ initiative
A total of at least one million signatures must come together, and the minimum number of signatures must be achieved in at least a quarter of the EU states, at the current level seven EU states. The minimum number required is about 750 times the number of members of the European Parliament of this state – in Germany it is e.g. 72,000 signatures. So, every signature counts. The future of sharks is in our hands. Mermaids and mermen join in! Let’s fight for the sharks together.
The video of the mermaids and mermen
All videos that we receive by the end of October will be included in our “chain video”. As soon as this is finished, we will post this on YouTube and hope that many people will see and share it. We hope to draw the attention of many people to the citizens’ initiative and shark protection and to encourage them to vote.
We would like to thank all the mermaids and mermen who support the citizens’ initiative and shark protection in advance – you guys are great!!!