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Saving sharks, one bowl at a time

Fairmont Singapore Partners with ACRES in Fight to Save the Sharks

As the battle to save sharks reaches new depths, 600 bowls of eco-friendly, cruelty-free and equally delicious soups were offered to the public by Fairmont Singapore to help create awareness on sustainable seafood, and reinforce the message that there are culinary alternatives to eco-altering shark's fin soup.

From 2-4 October 2009 (12nn to 2pm), Fairmont Singapore's banquet team served the public 200 complimentary bowls (per day for three days) of Double-boiled Herbal Ginseng Soup with Organic Pumpkin, Silky Bean Curd and Bamboo Fungus at ACRES (Animal Concerns Research and Education Society)'s “Break The Tradition, Spare The Sharks” event, which coincided with the international observance of World Animal Day at The [email protected] beside Plaza Singapura.

“We believe that we all have a link to our planet, the choices that we make and the food that we eat should always sustain and benefit the only home we have. The meaningful objectives of ACRES strongly reflect Fairmont Hotels & Resorts' passion and dedication towards creating a sustainable environment. We support this initiative and we hope that this project will help create much-needed awareness for the public to choose sustainable seafood and aid in the conservation of marine resources, including the over-fished shark,” said Ian Wilson, General Manager of Fairmont Singapore and Regional Vice-President, Asia, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts.

“This event will be focused not only in creating awareness about the significance of sharks in maintaining marine ecological balance, but also to help reduce demand for shark's fin soup by highlighting responsible seafood purchasing decisions,” he added.

Fairmont Singapore is also supporting ACRES in its efforts to raise funds by contributing chipped or chaffed bowls, which will be used in the event's “Smash A Soup Bowl To Save The Sharks” corner wherein the public will be given the chance to smash a bowl for every $2 donation. This simple gesture is symbolical of breaking the habit of consuming shark's fin soup. The broken pieces and fragments will be collected and will be used to create a 15m long shark mosaic along Orchard Road. A group of artists will also use these broken pieces after the event to create a permanent work of art.

An estimated 100 million sharks are killed each year to meet demand for shark's fin soup, and Singapore is the world's third largest shark's fin trading centre, according to UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation . The demand for shark's fin soup being a traditional dish in many parts of Asia is high and the growing appetite of diners is causing a shocking decline in most large shark species over the past half-century. As the chief predators of the ocean, sharks play an essential role in the balance of the marine ecosystem.

About Fairmont Hotels & Resorts' Green Partnership ProgramME

In 1990, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts proactively launched its industry-leading Green Partnership programme, a comprehensive approach to reducing their impact on the environment. This commitment to minimising the hotels' footprint on the planet is a key component of their operating philosophy, which is formalised in their Environmental Policy. The Green Partnership allows Fairmont to meet and exceed guest expectations of operational sustainability and responsible tourism, because the environment isn't just something that's “out there” - it's where we live, work and play each day.

Fairmont's Green Partnership focuses on improvements in the areas of energy and water conservation, waste management, and innovative community outreach programmes involving local groups and partnerships.

The Animal Concerns Research and Education Society

ACRES is a local animal protection charity and Institution of Public Character aimed at fostering respect and compassion for all animals. It currently has more than 18,000 individuals on its supporter database.