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The $20 Trillion Reason Why Richard Branson Wants to Save Sharks *Take Action*

Environment  (tags: animals, climate-change, conservation, destruction, ecosystems, environment, globalwarming, greenhousegases, habitatdestruction, marine life, nature, oceans, politics, pollution, Sharks, Sustainabililty )

- 2158 days ago -
The ocean ecosystem is being destroyed from seabed to surface due to toxic chemical waste, overfishing, and species depletion--including 70 million annual shark deaths. Please sign petition


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Kit B (276)
Sunday August 18, 2013, 5:37 pm
Richard Branson attends a news conference organized by Wildaid, a wildlife conservation group, to promote shark conservation in Shanghai. (Photo: Aly Song/Reuters)

**Petition at end of article on VISIT SITE**

Whale sharks don’t want you for dinner. I know this because I’ve been halfway inside the mouth of one, swimming off the coast of Mexico, and it simply spat me out. These gentle giants can grow to weigh more than 20 tonnes and measure over 12 metres long, but they are among the most majestic and serene creatures in the sea. However, I am saddened to know that they are a highly vulnerable species, their very existence threatened primarily due to commercial fishing. Recently, I’ve had the chance to swim with many other shark species—Tiger, Lemon, Reef, even Great White!—in support of our campaign with Virgin Unite and WildAID to ban shark finning and protect the ocean.

Now you might be asking yourself, what do sharks and ocean conservation have to do with business? Quite simply, the ocean sustains life on our planet, delivering half of our oxygen and providing an estimated $20 trillion worth of natural resources and services a year. Without healthy aquatic ecosystems we would lose the natural resources on which life—and business—depend. Sadly, the ocean ecosystem is being destroyed from seabed to surface due to toxic chemical waste, overfishing, and species depletion.

One of the reasons I first decided to put my weight behind ocean conservation was my intense reaction to Rob Stewart’s film Sharkwater, about the plight of sharks around the world. I was shocked to learn that high demand for shark fin soup was driving the vicious slaughter of over 70 million sharks a year, which are brutally left to die after their fins are cut off.

In September 2011, I teamed up with basketball star Yao Ming in Shanghai to call for a ban on shark fin soup—which could save tens of millions of sharks a year. Recently, the Chinese government took the symbolic step to ban shark fin at state banquets, and we have learned that demand for shark fin has dropped so dramatically that prices are down by as much as 60 percent in China.

Rob’s most recent film project, Revolution, makes the larger point that the risks to sharks’ existence represent greater threats to the sustainability of the ocean, and in turn to the whole natural world. Encouragingly, a recent study by the Global Ocean Commission shows that the overwhelming majority of people around the world understand the fundamental importance of the ocean for life on our planet. According to the study, 85 percent of people believe that “governments must take the needs of future generations into account when deciding how international parts of the ocean should be used and governed.”

A wonderful group who share this belief is the OceanElders, a collective of leaders working with partners to protect, value, and celebrate the ocean and its wildlife. I am fortunate to be a part of the group, alongside Jackson Browne, Dr. Sylvia A Earle, HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, Dr. Rita Colwell, Jean-Michel Cousteau, Graeme Kelleher, Sven Lindblad, Her Majesty Queen Noor, Ted Turner, Nainoa Thompson, Captain Don Walsh and Neil Young. The latest member to join is James Cameron, a longtime activist and believer in the positive impact of the ocean and the need to conserve it.

So far the OceanElders have made significant breakthroughs on issues from creating nature reserves to banning shark finning. However, as well as the support of brilliant groups like this, there is a tremendous groundswell of support for ocean conservation on social media. We have seen overwhelming responses on social media to campaigns to save sharks, manta rays and reefs. These illustrate how every single one of us can help to protect the ocean.

So are you are interested in getting your feet wet? Join one of these initiatives to help save the sharks and conserve the ocean:

- Stand up for sharks! Don’t eat shark fin soup, go diving and snorkelling with sharks, and encourage your friends to do the same. Learn more and get involved with our partners WildAID and SharkSavers.

- Sign the I’m FINished with Fins petition here to support the end of shark finning in Hong Kong.

- Mind your energy use, help take care of the beach, or influence positive change in your community. Check out 10 simple things everyone can do to help save the ocean from National Geographic.

- Join the OceanElders community to share ideas and solutions and kick-start action to benefit the ocean.

- Learn about our foundation, Virgin Unite, jump in to our global community, and FUNdraise for issues you care about.

- Sign up for an event, donate, and explore a wealth of resources at the Carbon War Room.

***Sign Petition to Ban Shark Fin Soup***

By: Richard Branson | Take Part Magazine |


Sue H (7)
Sunday August 18, 2013, 5:42 pm
Noted and signed, thanks.

Pat B (354)
Sunday August 18, 2013, 5:45 pm
Thank you, Kit for this. I gladly signed.!!

Sheila D (194)
Sunday August 18, 2013, 5:48 pm
Took the pledge, signed and noted. Thank you.

Terry V (30)
Sunday August 18, 2013, 6:02 pm


JL A (281)
Sunday August 18, 2013, 6:09 pm
Thanks for elevating our attention on this multifaceted issue Kit.

Animae C (508)
Sunday August 18, 2013, 6:55 pm
Ban Shark Fin Soup and Save These Endangered Animals
Thank you for signing!
10,443 signatures of 10,000 goal

Lisa Zilli (17)
Sunday August 18, 2013, 8:02 pm

Past Member (0)
Sunday August 18, 2013, 9:01 pm
Signed and noted.

Frances Darcy (92)
Monday August 19, 2013, 1:34 am

Past Member (0)
Monday August 19, 2013, 4:15 am
Took the pledge.

Ben O (129)
Monday August 19, 2013, 7:00 am

Terrie Williams (798)
Monday August 19, 2013, 8:15 am
Signed and shared in private email yesterday, noted.

Past Member (0)
Monday August 19, 2013, 8:22 am
Signed Kit.

Peggy A (0)
Monday August 19, 2013, 8:51 am

Mike M (8)
Monday August 19, 2013, 8:55 am

Angelika R (143)
Monday August 19, 2013, 9:01 am
Signed, thx.

Tina P (30)
Monday August 19, 2013, 9:09 am

Mari 's (1356)
Monday August 19, 2013, 9:18 am
S&N What some humans have done just sickens me.

Esther Z (94)
Monday August 19, 2013, 9:23 am
Gladly noted and signed. Thanks, Kit!

Emma S (239)
Monday August 19, 2013, 9:30 am
Done! Thanks, Kit.

Angela Marshall (14)
Monday August 19, 2013, 9:43 am
Signed and noted.

. (0)
Monday August 19, 2013, 10:17 am
Signed,tweeted and noted,thanks.

Past Member (0)
Monday August 19, 2013, 10:22 am
signed & Noted thanks

Arielle S (313)
Monday August 19, 2013, 10:38 am
Unlike most mega-billionaires, I very much like Richard Branson. He did that show somewhat like "Celebrity Apprentice" (only better) and dressed as the cab driver just to see how people, not realizing who he was, would treat him . One contestant was rude and obnoxious and Branson got great fun out of telling him how he'd screwed up his chances to win by being such an ars. Anyway... great cause and of course, I signed!

Past Member (0)
Monday August 19, 2013, 10:40 am
Done-thx Kit

Kit B (276)
Monday August 19, 2013, 10:54 am

I was watching a program last night about the coming new season for "Downton Abby" and was struck by the idea that so many think of the very wealthy as having an ideal life with no worries or pain. Whether it is a super billionaire like Branson, or any of us, life is not easy. Maybe that stack of cash makes the fall easier, I don't know. But, Branson does seem to throw himself in some very good causes that will help our planet yet, not add to his ever growing mattress of money.

Thanks for signing up to help sharks. I do know that people at Care2 are aware of how dramatically this affects the ocean habitat.

Mike H (252)
Monday August 19, 2013, 12:18 pm
Thanks Kit for this excellent article. Gladly signed

Past Member (0)
Monday August 19, 2013, 12:32 pm

lee e (114)
Monday August 19, 2013, 12:42 pm
S+N with interest - the stories you and Arielle shared about this eccentric - makes Branson a rather appealing rich man!

. (0)
Monday August 19, 2013, 12:46 pm
Not a fan of Branson but I like this campaign. S&P

Hartson Doak (39)
Monday August 19, 2013, 1:07 pm
If Mother is sick, then she can not support us. Then we will die. As simple as that.

pam w (139)
Monday August 19, 2013, 2:20 pm
Done! Thanks...

Jeanne Rogers (1203)
Monday August 19, 2013, 2:32 pm
Signed and noted.

Irene S (69)
Monday August 19, 2013, 3:40 pm

Eternal Gardener (734)
Monday August 19, 2013, 4:38 pm
Sure signed!

Lois Jordan (63)
Monday August 19, 2013, 6:12 pm
Signed. Noted. Thanks, Kit.

Laurie H (818)
Monday August 19, 2013, 8:58 pm
More than happy to sign & share with Many Thanks Kit!!!~

Victoria Pohrebna (279)
Tuesday August 20, 2013, 1:00 am
Signed...10,504 signatures of 10,000 goal.

Abdessalam Diab (145)
Tuesday August 20, 2013, 6:37 am

Robert B (55)
Tuesday August 20, 2013, 12:03 pm
If we don't take care of Nature, it will not take care of us. It's as simple as that. World leaders need to realize this before we reach a tipping point.

Bryna Pizzo (139)
Tuesday August 20, 2013, 3:50 pm
Thank you! (s, n, p, t)

divergent revolution (309)
Thursday August 22, 2013, 2:15 pm
I happen to know Branson, since I lived around the corner from his island, necker island in the bvi for many years, until the fire, I wasn't there for that.
He is a really down to earth guy with a good heart, and puts on no airs, even as an obe/sir.
Totally agree with this, signed thanks Kit
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