An estimated 100 million sharks are killed every year for their fins, meat, leather, liver oil and cartilage. Sharks are apex predators in the marine life and the decline in shark population due to an increasing demand for shark products impacts marine life ecosystems as they are the ecological stabilizers. Disappointingly, Malaysia is ranked as the world’s 9th largest producer of shark products and 3rd largest importer in terms of volume.
In an effort to reduce trade and consumption of shark products in Malaysia, WWF-Malaysia first launched its “My Fin My Life” campaign back in January 2016. To support this campaign, five R.E.A.L Kids centres; namely R.E.A.L Kids Bukit Jelutong, R.E.A.L Kids Sec 8 Shah Alam, R.E.A.L Kids Shah Alam Campus, R.E.A.L Kids Denai Alam, and R.E.A.L Kids Bandar Sunway initiated a pledge earlier this year to raise awareness on the importance of protecting sharks and the marine ecosystem by preventing shark finning. A highly commendable total of 1,700 signatures were collected for the petition.
Accordingly, R.E.A.L Kids received recognition from WWF-Malaysia for its contribution, passion and determination towards making this campaign a success. Accepting the award on behalf of the preschools was Ms. Malarini, Centre Manager of the aforementioned five centres. She received a certificate and a prize under the ‘Eco-Schools’ category at the ‘Be a Shark Hero Competition’ award ceremony held on 28 April 2017. Kudos to Ms. Malarini and her dedicated team of principals and staff!
Noteworthy community projects like this are part and parcel of R.E.A.L’s ongoing efforts to provide both students and stakeholders alike with opportunities to make a difference in society and the world they live in. It is hoped that everyone who participated in this campaign will continue to support this noble cause and encourage others to follow suit.