Shark Conservationists Are Celebrating The Food Network's Recent Decision To Remove All Shark Recipes From FoodNetwork.Com After A Viral Online Campaign Gets Thousands Of Supporters.

Shark conservationists are celebrating the Food Network's recent decision to remove all shark recipes from FoodNetwork.com after a viral online campaign gets thousands of supporters.
Shark conservationists are celebrating the Food Network's recent decision to remove all shark recipes from FoodNetwork.com after a viral online campaign gets thousands of supporters.

Shark conservation campaign

Conservation activist Jessica Belsky started the shark saving campaign on Change.org, the world’s fastest-growing platform for social change, to promote shark conservation during the popular “Shark Week” television series on Discovery. Less than 10 days after the launch of the online campaign, the Food Network removed all shark recipes from its website and issued a statement on the future use of shark at the network.

“As a policy, Food Network and Cooking Channel do not incorporate or showcase recipes that involve animals on endangered species list or the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch list, with the recent addition of sharks to those watch-lists, we will make sure that future content does not highlight shark as an ingredient. We understand there are many species with sustainability concerns, and we make efforts to stay informed and pass that information onto our audience," says Susan Stockton of the Food Network Kitchens

More than 30,000 people joined the online campaign, many of them after the Food Network had already made the above commitment.

Change can happen

If you've refrained from supporting online campaigns because you figure nothing will change, this is a monumental situation that proves change really can happen. “We’re thrilled that the Change.org platform has successfully connected people who care about the future of sharks to the Food Network, a brand that has a tremendous impact on popular culture,” said Sarah Parsons, senior organizer at Change.org. “This is hopefully the first step in a longer partnership, and we’re excited to see where it goes.”

Sharks in danger
 
Many sharks are threatened with extinction, with some species’ populations plummeting by as much as 90 percent in recent years. Sharks are listed on the "Red/Avoid" section of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch guide, along with more than 20 other species of fish like bluefin tuna, Chilean sea bass, and orange roughy.

>>Learn about finning and tragedy of shark fin soup

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