THE LAW OF NATURE FOUNDATION
6-J Westgate Tower, Investment Dr., Madrigal Business Park, Ayala Alabang, Muntinlupa City, Philippines 1780(632) 403.7740http://thelawofnature.ph
12 July 2011
Mr. Andrew Q. Lim
PresidentGloria Maris Head OfficeCCP Complex, Roxas BoulevardPasay, Metro ManilaDear
:My name is Anna Oposa, an advocate of the environment. My friend recently sent mepictures of shark slaughter occurring in northern Philippines. When asked where the sharkfins would be delivered, the fishermen said Gloria Maris in Metro Manila.I went to Gloria Maris-Alabang yesterday and found out that your restaurant serves shark
sfin soup at over PhP1,000 per bowl. Studies show that sharks, as the apex of the marineecosystem, have among the highest levels of toxic mercury found in fish. Organizations allover the world, including the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the WorldHealth Organization, and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations,recognize mercury to be a dangerous neurotoxin that can cause male sterility and extensivedamage to the nervous system and fetuses. These organizations warn against eating sharkmeat, especially pregnant women, women who plan to become pregnant, and children.In addition to its potential health hazards, the high consumption of shark
s fin soup hasalarming implications to the environment. The 2006 Red List of shark species published bythe World Conservation Union listed 110 species of sharks and rays that are either criticallyendangered, endangered, or vulnerable, while a further 96 are facing some level ofthreat. Sharks grow slowly, mature late, and do not reproduce often, which means that sharkpopulations are particularly vulnerable to overfishing and recover slowly, if at all.Approximately 70-100 million sharks are killed annually to meet the demand of theinternational shark trade, which increases by more than 5% a year. Limited regulations existto control this trade. As the top predators of the sea, sharks play an important role inregulating all the species in the marine ecosystem. The loss of sharks can cause the entiremarine ecosystem and biodiversity to collapse.