On Saturday the 27th of October 2012 Jonny Citizen (Editor Planet Earth Herald) and The Shark Guy staged a protest to raise awareness against shark finning.
The protest was staged outside The Gold Coast Sharks Fin and Seafood restaurant in Surfers Paradise. This was the first of many united protests that the team will undertake.
After many weeks of planning, preparation and research, the protest team had an early start to ready themselves in the final preparations to carry out the public protest.
The night before the protest the team visited the restaurant under the guise of tourists from Newcastle. They were horrified to find a full page on the menu dedicated to variations of consumable Shark Fin Soup.
The waitress assured us that the soup was indeed tasty, healthy and very popular especially amongst tourists.
When asked by The Shark Guy if she had ever tried some soup, she replied “No… It is much too expensive for me at the moment”
“But yes very yummy” She concluded and scurried off, leaving the team in a state of shock, discomfort and a general sickening feeling.
We did not or would not try the soup, but we promised to return the following day for lunch to try the shark fin soup much to their approval.
Little did they know what we were really returning for.
The day began at around five A.m. as final preparations needed to be completed such as turning The Shark Guy into a human billboard complete with a chest mounted display tablet which looped a 2 minute clip that highlighted the brutal removal of fins from living sharks.
We arrived at the restaurant a little before lunchtime in anticipation of the luncheon crowd. We got to work immediately handing out information pamphlets and engaging the public in conversation around raising awareness about the need to ban the sale of Shark products in Australia and the globe.
The general reaction from the public towards the cause was a mixed bag.
Some people ignored us, some people were a little interested and a rare few were actually quite aggressive and one person even head butted the Shark Guys chest.
This kind of reaction reiterates the fact some people do not care about the environment anymore.
We are also pleased to report the amazing experience shared by the team when a kindred spirit offered up their full support and acknowledgement of the principle behind the protest. This kind of reaction was about 25% of the public which in our minds is a promising result, however our work has only just begun and we hope to make a great difference.
“How beyond feeling those moments were… indescribable” The Shark Guy.