An expensive meal and the Chinese (fwd)
Coral Health and Monitoring Program
coral at aoml.noaa.gov
Tue Dec 3 10:47:23 EST 1996
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 29 Nov 1996 06:53:46 -0500 (EST)
From: Ursula Keuper-Bennett <howzit at io.org>
To: owner-coral-list at aoml.noaa.gov
Subject: Re: An expensive meal and the Chinese
Nicolas J. Pilcher wrote:
"to target the rich, you have to offer them an alternative that will still
allow them to 'save-face' and still act rich. This is Asia. Welcome to a
new mindset. The need to entertain guests and provide them with a large
live fish is cemented now as an important tradition - modern it may be,
but it's there and we have to live with it. These people don't eat this
at home. Ever! It is only to show off politely that it is done. These
are aspects to consider when tackling this issue."
Perhaps a start might be for a few of the rich to take leadership roles
and instead of offering a large live fish at a gathering offer to show
video of the large live fish that was actually found, stalked and spared,
complete with footage of the divers, holding up a sign in Chinese beside
the behemoth (gives guests an excellent idea of the size of the animal)
that says "This creature has been spared through the wisdom and generosity
of [name of host]."
The fish could also be tagged and the host given its number. Full colour
posters of the fish could be given to each guest upon leaving. They could
still eat live fish, just something a lot less damaging to future stocks.
The rich could still spend their $10 000 but now it is to pay two divers
to photograph, video and tag this large beast with the rest of the money
going to fisheries maintenance.
If that didn't work, there is always international condemnation of the
practice. The rich used to enjoy fox hunting until there was sufficient
public outrage. Very few people can wear fur coats now and feel fully
comfortable. But that should be an option only after the first was tried.
It is always better to approach people cooperatively than through
coercion. Dr. Archie Carr (sea turtle champion) taught me the power or
one or two (--through his writings, I never met the man) and I believe all
it might take is a few of Hong Kong's elite to set the example and a new
tradition could be started.
That kind of responsibility spread through the media would do far more for
international opinion of both Hong Kong and the Chinese, than its present
reputation of buying up the world's resources and taking advantage of the
poor in the poorest of nations.
^ Ursula Keuper-Bennett
0 0 Email: howzit at io.org
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