“It is a form of evangelism, but it’s conservation. It’s helping everyone realize that every single person can make a difference in their daily lives through their choices, be it how they eat, the kind of energy they use and even what they use and how they dispose of things. It’s something that we should all be involved in” ~ Sharon Kwok
For an island-nation like Hong Kong, seafood is an important part of the local culture that dates back hundreds of years. However, one actress is working to change the way the people of Hong Kong consume seafood, especially that which is decreasing in numbers.
Protecting Ocean Eco-Systems
Sharon Kwok has used her popularity as a TV personality to call attention to Asia’s consumption habits, starting with her native Hong Kong. Shark fin consumption is a big target for Sharon, as it is a popular delicacy that is highly prized and is used in traditional medicine. For many, abandoning the use of shark fin or other seafood is akin to ending a tradition. Sharon is optimistic, however. She created the Aquameridian Conservation and Education Foundation to promote marine education about the ocean’s marine environment and the importance of contributing to the protection of the ocean eco-system. “We may never get that shark fin ban in China, but it’s gotten to the point where it’s no longer the hip thing to do.”
Sharon Kwok was born in Hong Kong of a Chinese mother and an American father of Germanic decent. Much of her childhood was spent at Ocean Park as her father was one of the founding members. She began a lifelong love of animals during those early years while learning to free dive with the dolphins and experiencing basic animal husbandry hands on.
Sharing a Passion for Marine Conservation
Having many varied interests has had quite an effect on her life. A student of the Academy of Arts in San Francisco, Sharon also taught arts at the Asian Arts Institute and started selling her works at charity exhibitions when she was in her teens. Sharon has been featured in over a dozen films as well as having worked at T.V.B., RTHK, and ATV Hong Kong. She recently co-hosted and produced a prime-time TV series TVB H.K., with more nationwide programming under way. Sharon’s passion for the marine conservation has become a driving force in her life, work and art.
“It’s a race against time, but we’ll get to a point where the general public realizes that maintaining things so that everything becomes sustainable is more important than self-gain. We need to protect the planet for future generations.”
Over the years, Sharon has supported charities such as Lifeline Express, Youth Outreach, Make A Wish Foundation, and Prevent Child Sexual Abuse to name a few. She’s also an Ambassador for SPCA H.K., Hong Kong Cetacean Research Project, and Bloom. Sharon is on the Board of Mission Blue, involved with Wild Aid and created Aqua Meridian foundation.
“I don’t just want to talk about it…I try to go and see it. Be it sea turtles or sea horses…I try to learn from the experts…before I can properly educate people.”
Join us and Sharon Kwok to learn more about the sustainable choices that you can make like choosing sustainable seafood and sustainable travel. Find out how ocean activism in Asia, is raising an awareness of today’s ocean issues like climate change and plastic pollution. Find Sharon’s complete interview at Ocean Blue Summit 2015: Sharon Kwok and learn about the programs at Mission Blue and Wild Aid or visit Sharon at her Aquameridian Conservation and Education Foundation.
“Marine Conservation is not a luxury”
“I really think it has to be part of the business model. Marine conservation is not a luxury. It’s not something that you do because you’re a good person. You have to do it because you’re a good businessman.”
As a writer and explorer, José Truda Palazzo, Jr. is an environmental activist, having dedicated himself to the cause for almost 40 years. Beginning in the 1970s, José became one of Brazil’s leading voices against Japanese whaling. Also José is the co-founder of Divers for Sharks, an organization that promotes the protection of sharks and calls for the unification and collaboration of the diving community in shark conservation efforts. Based in “the backwaters of Brazil,” José Truda Palazzo has shown that with determination and organization, anyone in any country can reach out to the rest of the world and be heard.
To find out more about saving whales and sharks see Jose’s article “Speaking Out about Our Industry’s Economic Clout” at Ocean Profiles: Jose Truda Palazzo