Give Em the Fin was a free, international opportunity for people to demonstrate their support for shark conservation. Participants learned about the role of sharks in ocean ecosystems. Then they took action by taking a digital image of themselves, as individuals or as groups, making the sign of the shark: placing the heel of one’s hand atop one’s head with the palm straight up symbolizing a shark’s fin. A simple watercolor ocean scene mosaic was created, with each contributing image as a pixel in the mosaic. The mosaic is now complete with over 25,000 contributing images.
Like all ecosystems, the ocean is made up of ecological communities that form a web of life. Removing a key community member can have a negative cascading and ripple effect. Sharks, the apex predators of the ocean, are under assault from the fishing industry for their fins. While many people may be aware of the unsustainable shark fin industry practices, ocean advocates will only be able to overcome the international business interests profiting from shark finning by decreasing consumer demand and by educating the global community about the ramifications of ecosystem collapse initiated by shark finning.
Give Em the Fin is an interactive campaign that was used to launch a widespread global conversation. This campaign provided a launchpad to discuss and underscore our goal to discourage the consumption of shark fin soup and to educate about the critical role sharks play in healthy ocean ecosystems. The campaign included education, advocacy, and activism on a global level including children and adults, students and scientists, individuals, and groups. This campaign involved information, used to increase knowledge and insight, that resulted in action. That action was leveraged into a global community activity and artwork.