Hawaii State Legislature
State Capitol Building
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Re: S.B. No. 2169, Relating to Shark Fins
Dear Members of the Hawaii State Legislature,
I grew up in Hong Kong and speak Chinese as my mother tongue. I would like to testify that shark fin soup, while a common dish served in some formal banquets, does not necessarily equate to the Chinese culture and tradition. In fact, in China we also treasure the virtue of frugality, and we respect life, food, and nature. And the cruel practice of shark finning (cutting fins off a shark alive and then throwing the shark back to the ocean letting it die a horrible death) is clearly at odds with our traditional values.
In Hong Kong the public are getting more and more aware of the ugly truth behind shark fin soup, and the distaste against it is simply getting stronger and stronger day by day.
Recently I started a local campaign in Hong Kong encouraging banquet goers to cut back their "gift money" to the hosts -- by 30% -- if shark fin soup is served in the banquet. The idea is that banquet goers are the true (or major) financiers of each banquet, and they should be empowered to say "no" to shark fin soup when the host may still be saying "yes". The campaign has been receiving overwhelming support. I started the campaign as a facebook group (and later a community page) . Within ~15 days, and simply by word of mouth (and latter some media coverage  ) the facebook community has grown to 15,000+ members .
This shows that there is a very strong sentiment against shark finning -- even in Hong Kong the world center of shark fin trade.
I would like to applaud recent efforts of the Hawaiian Legislature to pass a bill to protect sharks by prohibiting the possession, sale, and trade of shark fins. I think they demonstrate to the world that Hawaii is a leader in this cause. Back to my home town of Hong Kong, I hope these efforts will set up positive examples for Hong Kong to follow. I personally have been lobbying my friends in the Legislative Council of Hong Kong to take up the issue and enact similar bills in Hong Kong.
Yui-Wah (Clement) Lee 李銳華
Creator of a Hong Kong campaign
"Cut gift money for shark fin banquet"
 Facebook community page: "Cut gift money for shark fin banquets" http://bit.ly/9CHTcF
 The Standard (Hong Kong) Apr 7, 2010 "Shark's fin campaign hits newlyweds where it hurts" http://bit.ly/adsrho
 CNN Go (Asia) Apr 7, 2010 "Very hot Facebook group: 'Cut gift money for shark fin banquets'" http://bit.ly/aTzUDO
 Latest supporter numbers, "Cut gift money for shark fin banquets" (running update) http://bit.ly/apViGr