Burnaby resident Claudia Li is launching another wedding contest to save sharks from slaughter.
Li founded the group Shark Truth and is leading the charge against shark fin soup, an expensive delicacy often served at Chinese weddings to signify prosperity.
Shark Truth holds an annual contest encouraging betrothed couples to not serve the soup at their weddings, and this year's prize is a six-day cruise to the Galapogos.
Conservationists, like Li, are critical of the shark slaughter, which involves "finning," a practice of slicing the fins off and throwing the shark back into the ocean, often while it's still alive. The lucrative fin trade is mostly fuelled by demand for the soup.
According to Li, up to 70 million sharks are killed each year, mainly for their fins, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature estimates 25 species of sharks and rays have the potential to go extinct in our lifetime.
"Some of these species are going to disappear if we don't do something about it now," Li said.
The movement against shark fin soup is gaining momentum. Some hotels and supermarkets in Asia have stopped selling the soup, and Toronto and four other Ontario cities have banned the dish.
The "Happy Hearts Love Sharks" contest opens on Valentine's Day. Contestants submit a creative photo and a story about why they decided to support the cause. The winner is determined by who gets the most online votes from the public. For more information on the contest, go to www. HappyHeartsLoveSharks. org, and for more on Shark Truth, go to www.shark truth.org.
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