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Sin eng-1 - saving the sharks


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Sin eng-1 - saving the sharks

  1. 1. Raffles Institution Year 2 Research EducationDesign for Change School Challenge 2011 SAVE THE DYING SHARKS Team Leader : Benjamin Lim Team Members : Billy Chan Himanshu Kubal Andrew Leow Teacher Mentor : Ms Tan Liling
  2. 2. DESIGN FOR CHANGE - SAVE THE DYING SHARKS Acknowledgement Firstly, we would like to thank our teacher-mentor, Ms Tan for her guidance andinsights in completing this research education project. She has given us invaluable advice tohelp us complete our tasks. In addition, we would like to thank the 50 respondents who helped us achieve ourgoal by giving us their truthful and suggestive answers. These went a long way in helping uscomplete the project. Besides that, we would also like to thank the people who looked at our posters andbrochures. They were part of our overall goal of educating the general public about theseverity of consuming shark fin soup. Finally, we are grateful to the many writers and people around the world who havemade videos and articles on shark‘s fin, and allowed us to use their information in ourresearch. ii
  3. 3. DESIGN FOR CHANGE - SAVE THE DYING SHARKS Table of Contents Acknowledgements ii Table of Contents iiiChapter 1 INTRODUCTION Abstract 1 Objective 1 Design For Change Competition 1Chapter 2 RESEARCH AND FINDINGS Research Required 2 Survey Methodology 2 Survey Results 3Chapter 3 PREPARATION FOR ACTION WEEK Solutions 9 Work Allocation 10 Implications/Problems 12Chapter 4 ACTION WEEK Actions executed 13 Feedback 17Chapter 5 REFLECTIONS 18 Bibliography 23 iii
  4. 4. DESIGN FOR CHANGE - SAVE THE DYING SHARKS CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTIONAbstractWith the sudden increase in prosperity in Asia, shark fin soup, which is considered a delicacyby many affluent Chinese, is becoming consumed in vast quantities. This places a hugedemand on shark fins which in turn poses an immense ecological threat to the alreadydwindling population of sharks worldwide. Furthermore, it also poses a serious ethicalconcern – sharks are often finned alive and then thrown back to sea to die a slow and painfuldeath. We hope to lower the demand for shark fin soup by discouraging people fromconsuming shark fin soup. We aim to do so by educating people about the harms ofconsuming shark fin and also by advocating for restaurants to drop shark fin soup from theirmenus.ObjectiveWe aim to educate the public on both the harmful effects that consuming shark fins has on usand the marine ecology as well as the ethical concerns that shark finning raises to discouragethe general public from increasing the demand for shark fins and reduce the supply of sharkfin imported into Singapore. This is because the high demand for shark fin has severeecological, health and ethical implications.We aim to lessen the demand of shark fins in Singapore and save the sharks, hencedecreasing the amount of shark fin imported into Singapore each year. Consequently, thenumber of sharks being finned every year would be reduced.We plan to do this by raising public awareness on a number of issues: the cruelty of currentpractices of shark finning, the ecological impact of overfishing sharks, and the health risksinvolved in consuming shark fin.Why Design for Change?Our team has chosen to take part in the Design for Change Challenge as we felt that theproblem of sharks being kiiled for their fins is a problem that we can make a difference to byencouraging others to each make a small sacrifice in their lives.We have chosen Save the Dying Sharks to be our project even though some animal groupshave tried convincing the general public to stop eating shark fin because we think our projectis different insofar as it focuses on youths as its targets for raising awareness. We believe thathaving youths as our target group will be effective because as students ourselves, we couldconvince our fellow classmates and friends. They could in turn convince their own parentswho would in turn influence their counterparts. This causes a ripple effect that wouldmagnify the efforts that we have put in.Benjamin Lim, Himanshu Kubal, Andrew Leow, Billy Chan 1
  5. 5. DESIGN FOR CHANGE - SAVE THE DYING SHARKS CHAPTER 2: BACKGROUND RESEARCH Background Research Shark fin soup is considered a delicacy in many Chinese restaurants in Singapore. With the sudden increase in prosperity in Asia, shark fin soup is being consumed in vast quantities, mostly by the Chinese. This places a huge demand on shark fins consequently posing an immense threat to the population of sharks. Approximately 100 million sharks are killed a year and when they become extinct, the whole marine ecology will change as sharks are at the top of the food chain in the ocean. Sharks which were once considered only incidental ―bycatch‖, these species are increasingly targeted due to high demand for their valuable fins, used in the Asian delicacy shark fin soup. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature Shark Specialist Group, the first study to determine the global conservation status of 64 species of open ocean (pelagic) sharks reveals that 32% are threatened with extinction, primarily due to overfishing. Additionally, the AVA (Agri-food and Veterinary) reports 2500 tonnes of shark‘s fin were imported into Singapore in 2010. Research required The research that we require is information on shark‘s fin soup—possible health risks, the general public‘s opinion on it—and where our supply of shark fins in Singapore comes from. We studied on the topic very thoroughly at the start of the year on the topic, reading up on shark finning and the reasons why it is so valuable, and ways to reduce the killing of sharks. If demand for shark fins is lowered, supply for shark fins will also be lowered, which means that fewer sharks will be killed every year. Currently, many Chinese-Singaporeans are eating shark‘s fin about 3-4 times a year on average. And since about 30% of Singaporean citizens are Chinese, that‘s about 2 million Singaporeans consuming shark‘s fin 3-4 times a year and that is just Singapore. All over Asia, shark fin soup is considered a delicacy and is widely eaten by the Chinese community. This affects the population of sharks greatly and it has been reported that 90% of sharks‘ species has been extinct since the 1970s, millions of sharks are killed every single year and the figures just keep increasing. This can cause major impacts in marine ecology, and this has motivated us to make a change for the community. This hard evidence would show that the Shark Fin situation is in trouble and has adverse effects on the environment, the severity of the problem is definitely at its highest. Through many brainstorming session which is made even more effective after the Design for Change workshop which teaches us to bring out our childhood imagination, we arrived at the following solutions: i. Video/Documentary in public to educate public o Effective in drawing public‘s attention o Hard to get permission and suitable location (i.e speakers and projectorsii. Flashy and eye catching action to educate public Benjamin Lim, Himanshu Kubal, Andrew Leow, Billy Chan 2
  6. 6. DESIGN FOR CHANGE - SAVE THE DYING SHARKS o Can attract public easily with Singapore‘s ‗interested with everything‘ attitude when a crowd gathers o Hard to plan as permission is required and materials/manpower would not be easily foundiii. Talks/plays at primary school(s) to educate youths o Reach out to youths unaffected by tradition of eating sharks fin soup o Schools might not be able to provide us with the time and resources needed o Children might not understand the severity of situationiv. Send out letters to hotels who serve shark’s fin soup o Can use petition to persuade them o Follow suit with Fairmont Hotel which has already stopped serving shark fin. o Send by both email and post to increase effectiveness o They may not take note of our petitionv. Facebook group with facts and petition o Widespread influence o Easy to access and gather supporters o Might not be significant to othersvi. Brochures/Posters to educate public o Ensure public will understand points by explaining the negative side of shark finning o Sustainable o Able to approach them rather than them approaching us o Simpler and less planning required Survey Methodology A survey in Bishan Library was conducted on 10 June 2011 during the holidays. This survey was conducted to gather data related to our cause. The objective of this survey was to find out what the public already know about shark‘s fin with a couple of simple questions. As well as to assess the public‘s opinion of shark‘s fin along with suggestions and tips on any solutions or methods that we could use to change people‘s mindset on the problem of shark finning. The survey was balanced out with different types of questions as well as suggestion boxes to help us in our future endeavours. The survey included 10 questions that tested the public‘s knowledge on the topic of sharks finning, as well as their personal experience with the delicacy. They answered truthfully and were very helpful in their suggestions and feedback to help us in this project. Benjamin Lim, Himanshu Kubal, Andrew Leow, Billy Chan 3
  7. 7. DESIGN FOR CHANGE - SAVE THE DYING SHARKSSurvey Results GENDER RATIO No of males: No of Females: 22 28 No of Females: 28 As seen here, we surveyed more females than males but this did not directly affect theviews and thoughts of the people on the subject. The topic is not affected by the views ofdifferent genders. However, it would have been fairer had we surveyed an equal number ofamles and females. RESPONDENTS’ AGE We targeted more youths, as we wanted to see the view of the younger generation thatdid not follow tradition as strictly. However, we did survey some adults for a more matureview.Benjamin Lim, Himanshu Kubal, Andrew Leow, Billy Chan 4
  8. 8. DESIGN FOR CHANGE - SAVE THE DYING SHARKS How many times, in the previous year (2010), did you consume shark fin? a) 0-2 b) 3-5 c) 6-8 d) >8 We can see that many consumed shark fin minimally last year but there are still somepeople who have consumed it in large quantities. Our objective is to educate and change themindset of these people. Would you be willing to spend time in learning more about the problems of shark finning and in helping to raise awareness of the problem in your community?Benjamin Lim, Himanshu Kubal, Andrew Leow, Billy Chan 5
  9. 9. DESIGN FOR CHANGE - SAVE THE DYING SHARKS The people willing to learn more about the matter play a crucial part in our project.They are the ones who help us accomplish our task of educating the citizens as theirwillingness to learn allows us to explain to them about the consequences of shark finning. When do you usually consume shark fin? a)New Year b)Weddings c)Family Gathering d) Functions(e.g. Gala dinners) These numbers are in some cases overlapping individuals showing the occasion(s)during which shark fin is commonly consumed. As seen here, it is often consumed atweddings and New Year celebrations. This is probably because, in order to portray their joyduring the celebration, they indulge in such luxuries delicacies. It is highly common amongstthe Chinese as shark fin is considered a delicacy to them which only the rich can afford.Benjamin Lim, Himanshu Kubal, Andrew Leow, Billy Chan 6
  10. 10. DESIGN FOR CHANGE - SAVE THE DYING SHARKS Do you know where Singapore ranks amongst the countries that import the most shark fin? a) Don’t know b) 1st c) 2nd d) 4th e) 5th As we can see in the graph above, most of our respondents did not know the answerto the question- an overwhelming number of 41 people got it wrong. Some people claimed toknow the answer, yet they got it wrong. This shows the lack of knowledge the public has onthis topic inspite the fact that this issue has been not only raised by other anti-shark finninggroups but also the newspapers. Do you think shark fin is tasty? a)Yes b)No c)Not particularlyBenjamin Lim, Himanshu Kubal, Andrew Leow, Billy Chan 7
  11. 11. DESIGN FOR CHANGE - SAVE THE DYING SHARKS More than half of our respondents said that shark fin soup was not very tasty indeed.Contrary to the truth, shark fins do not have any taste. The taste/flavour comes from thespices in the soup. Shark fin is mainly eaten for its texture. So, the people who believe thatshark fin soup is tasty are actually wrong. To them, shark fin soup may be tasty, however,many hidden dangers lie from consuming this. It is this group of people that we should focuson too, to show them the harms of consuming shark fins. Do you think the massive shark fin consumption in Singapore is a concern? a) Yes b) NoThere are clearly more people who think that shark finning is a problem. This can contributeto our project by showing the number of people who oppose to shark finning. On the otherhand, there are still a handful of people who have yet to realize the underlying negativeconsequences of massive shark fin consumption and it is our duty to educate them.Overall, our survey results have shown that although most of the public does not consumegreat amounts of shark fin every year, people are not knowledgeable on this integral topic.Majority of those whom we surveyed got both the factual questions wrong. This proves ourpoint in saying that educating the public about shark fin and convincing them to stop itsconsumption is important. This is solution contributes the greatest impact in our objective oflowering the demand for shark fin. Some of our respondents were also willing to spend theirtime learning about shark fin and helping out in our cause. They would be the ones we arehoping would help influence people around them to stop consuming shark fin.Benjamin Lim, Himanshu Kubal, Andrew Leow, Billy Chan 8
  12. 12. DESIGN FOR CHANGE - SAVE THE DYING SHARKS CHAPTER 3: PREPARATION FOR ACTION WEEKSolutionsOur plan for this project is to give out brochures and posters to try and get more of the publicto understand and see the truth about the current situation with the issue of sharks beingendangered due to the demand of their fins in shark‘s fin soup. This took place during 25-30July.It attracted the attention of passer-by, one of our group mates dressed up as a shark, whichtook careful planning to make, and gave out brochures. We regularly updated our Facebookgroup to keep the fans interested and persuade them to spread word of our cause.Furthermore, we need a template of a petition letter to send to some widely known hotels toget them to stop the sale of shark‘s fin soup. Additionally, information pamphlets werepinned up throughout the entire lower secondary classes on their noticeboard as some of themmay not have the time to see our poster. Besides that, we tried including a video to showduring protected interaction time (PIT) but the solution was, unfortunately, scrapped due tounforeseen circumstances.Our second part was done outside our school, at Bishan MRT station and Bishan library. Wegave out our informative brochures to members of the public. Approximately 70 brochureswere given out to members of the public.Overall, the feedback to this project was not bad as we had managed to reach the public andeducate them about the downside of shark‘s fin soup. We had encountered and given outbrochures to many people, as well as given them some insight by explaining shark finningand some facts to them. Besides that, we even interviewed a public member who said that hewas stunned at the effects of shark fin on the environment and this changed his mind about it.From this, we can improvise that our project does have an impact on people. Another publicmember commented that he was happy to see students carry out such projects to awarepeople of what is happening around them. This will create a two pronged approach at thestudents and at the public and would increase our chances of educating the general public onthe issue of shark finning.Benjamin Lim, Himanshu Kubal, Andrew Leow, Billy Chan 9
  13. 13. DESIGN FOR CHANGE - SAVE THE DYING SHARKSa) Work Allocation:Here is a table of our work allocation: Task Description Work Done TimelinePreliminary Ideas(PI) Compulsory for each group member to do. 28/1 – 11/2Group Project Proposal (GPP) Benjamin, Himanshu, Andrew 11/2 - 4/3Gathering information Compulsory for each group member to do. 4/3 – 25/3Choosing solutions Compulsory for each group member to do. 25/3 – 8/4Draft survey Benjamin, Himanshu, Andrew 8/4 – 21/4Evaluation of Material Billy 15/4 – 29/4Carrying out survey Benjamin, Andrew 17/6Collating survey results Benjamin, Andrew 18/6Draft Report 1 Benjamin, Andrew 20/6 - 8/7Poster and brochure design Billy, Himanshu 20/6 – 8/7Draft petition letter Benjamin, Billy, Himanshu, Andrew 1/7 – 8/7Action Week Compulsory for each group member to do. 19/7 – 29/7Draft Report 2 Benjamin, Andrew 8/7 – 31/7Individual Portfolio Compulsory for each group member to do. 22/7 – 26/8Making of class notices Himanshu 28//7Pasting class notices Himanshu, Andrew 29/7Sending of petition letter Billy 31/7Final Report Compulsory for each group member to do. 31/7 – 5/8Oral Presentation draft Billy, Himanshu 31/7 - 5/8Benjamin Lim, Himanshu Kubal, Andrew Leow, Billy Chan 10
  14. 14. DESIGN FOR CHANGE - SAVE THE DYING SHARKSPreparation for Action Week Plan Week Benjamin Andrew Billy Himanshu Poster and Brochure design (drafts and final product by 18 July) 8-15 Start on petition letter/ Start on July Facebook fan base report part Himanshu to get permission on 15 1-3 July to put up posters Finish planning of Entire Action week by 15th July Start on the Start Finish report Start on the action week (Putting up action week( getting part 1-3 draft of posters, giving brochures and 15-22 Hanging of ready for on 17 July sending of petition letters) July posters, giving Action brochures and week (21- sending of 28 July) Start preparing for the interactive part of the action petition letters) week (Day 4 to 7)b) Resource Management:Money spent on printing and buying required items was borne by the respective person(s) in-charge of the task. However, if costs were very high such as for the printing of our brochures,the group divided it equally. We made sure that everyone paid approximately the sameamount of money for our resources. To save money, we decided to print some of thedocuments at home.The four of us were able to give out brochures effectively and even round up people to viewour exhibition. However, it was slightly difficult for us to garner ‗likes‘ for our Facebookpage. We required the help of our friends to spread the message to their friends and evensome of the people we gave our brochures to.It became rather hectic and tightly-scheduled for us during the course of our action week.There were quite a handful of tasks to be completed in a very short period of time. We hadCCAs (Co-curriculum) on going and some of us even had competitions. In spite of all thesedrawbacks, we managed to find time and use the time to the fullest. We do hope more timewas given for us so that we could reach more people using more interesting ways.c) Risk Management:We did not really face risks throughout our project. Yet there was the minor worry as wewere unsure whether people would take our project seriously. However, with the statisticsBenjamin Lim, Himanshu Kubal, Andrew Leow, Billy Chan 11
  15. 15. DESIGN FOR CHANGE - SAVE THE DYING SHARKSand information we managed to convey to our audience, we could see that most of the peoplewere actually now more concerned about the future of sharks. On the other hand, there werea handful of ignorant people who tore up our brochures/crumpled them behind our backs.d) Who is involved?All four of us were involved during the period of the action week. We gave out all thebrochures together, pasted the class notices and invited students to view our exhibition. Therewere several friends of ours who helped ‗share‘ our Facebook page to their friends so as tohelp us garner more support and we would like to convey our sincere regards to them. OurRE mentor helped us in ensuring we did not slack off during the course of action and withher constant support, we managed to succeed in completing all our work in time.Implications and problemsHowever, we are a little short on manpower as our action week has been planned on a schoolweek. This means that we will likely have lesser chances to go out and educate the public asschool and co-curricular activities would take up most of our time. We would most likelyacquire the help of our friends and family while we are not available to help us educate thepublic.One risk is that people may not actually look at our brochures and posters and just throwingthem away as many Singaporeans do. This would prove difficult to accomplish our goal as ifpeople do not so much as look at our information, then we would be unable to explain andpersuade them that shark‘s fin is bad for both your health and the environment. In addition,unforeseen circumstances would arise sometimes and we would be facing a major problembut we would improvised and learn for the mistakes and not making it twice.Other problems that arose would be the attitude of the group. Also, many things andexpectations were not told of at the start thus giving us further problems with our solutionswhich put off some of the ideas we thought of and even posed barriers to our efforts. At thestart of the year, we may have wasted some time due to the dragging of deadlines and werenot vigorous enough. In the end, it piled up at the end of the project with many thingsuncompleted, thus it almost affected our action week and plans. However, it is through theseproblems that we faced is what made us stand up and come together to solve them.Benjamin Lim, Himanshu Kubal, Andrew Leow, Billy Chan 12
  16. 16. DESIGN FOR CHANGE - SAVE THE DYING SHARKS CHAPTER 4: ACTION WEEK(1) School Exhibition & Public Awareness DriveDuring our Action Week, we participated in the Design for Change Showcase in RafflesInstitution, as well as gave out brochures promoting our cause around Bishan and sentpetition letters to hotels to discourage them from selling shark‘s fin soup.Firstly, over the course of 19-21 July, we had created a poster on a black foam sheet. Weprinted out basic facts on paper and glued them onto the background. We also included somealternatives to shark‘s fin soup and introduced ways to help stop shark‘s fin like supportingour Facebook page ―Save the Dying Sharks‖. Pictures that helped prove our point were alsoincluded and showed the gruesome things that the fishermen did to the sharks just for theirfins, we even brought a computer just to show to onlookers a documentary on the cruelty thatsharks have to suffer when they are caught and finned Here is Benjamin, our group leader with the poster and brochure that we displayedWe also printed brochures that gave more detailed facts on shark‘s fin and during ourthe harm it does to both us and the environment. It again contains action weekeducational information on the harms of shark finning. These were givenout during the showcase as well as to the public around Bishan PublicLibrary and Junction 8. This was carried out from 25-29 July.Benjamin Lim, Himanshu Kubal, Andrew Leow, Billy Chan 13
  17. 17. DESIGN FOR CHANGE - SAVE THE DYING SHARKS This is Benjamin with a passerby. As seen here we are educating the public on shark fin and trying to garner their support. Here we have Himanshu presenting our brochures to some of the students from Raffles Institution in public.Benjamin Lim, Himanshu Kubal, Andrew Leow, Billy Chan 14
  18. 18. DESIGN FOR CHANGE - SAVE THE DYING SHARKS(2) Petition Letters to Major HotelsSecondly, we wrote petition letters to five major hotels in Singapore that currently still serveshark fin soup on their restaurant menu, urging them to drop the dish from the menu. Petitionletters such as the one below were sent to Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore, Shangri-La HotelSingapore, Conrad Singapore Hotel, Grand Hyatt Singapore, and Intercontinental Singapore: Ritz-Carlton Millennia Singapore 7 Raffles Avenue, Singapore 039799 13th July 2011 Dear Sir/Madam, Petition to Stop Serving Shark Fin Soup We, the students of Raffles Institution, write this letter to petition that Ritz-Carlton Millennia Hotel removes shark fin from its menu. The practice of shark finning is a brutal and cruel act. Sharks caught at sea are often finned alive and dumped back into the sea to drown and bleed to death. Approximately 100 million sharks are finned annually. With 110 species of sharks classified as endangered, threatened or vulnerable, it is only a matter of time before sharks are plunged into extinction. This would be devastating to the world‘s ecosystem. Shark fins are not an essential part of our diet. With little or no nutritional value, it may even be detrimental to ones health as sharks have been found to contain high levels of mercury. Worse, shark fins are sometimes bleached with hydrogen peroxide before drying to make their colour more appealing. In light of both these ethical and health considerations, we would like to suggest that your restaurant serves healthier and more humane alternatives to shark fin soup. Since shark fins are in themselves tasteless, they may easily be replaced with abalones, mushrooms or scallops without compromising the taste of the dish. We have a Facebook page, named "Save the Dying Sharks", that has garnered over 100 ‗likes‘ in just two weeks and is steadily increasing. This is a clear indication of the publics support for the cause of ending shark fin consumption. By taking shark fin off your menu as other leading hotels such as Fairmont Hotel have done, you will be positioning Ritz-Carlton Millennia Hotel as one of the few socially responsible hotels that do their part for the environment and the welfare of the general public.Benjamin Lim, Himanshu Kubal, Andrew Leow, Billy Chan 15
  19. 19. DESIGN FOR CHANGE - SAVE THE DYING SHARKS We appeal to you to consider this petition. We hope that you will join us in being a part of this movement to end the cruel and senseless killing of sharks. For more information, please contact Benjamin Lim via email at or via phone (+65) 97865778 Thank you for your kind consideration. We look forward to hearing from you soon. Yours sincerely, Benjamin Lim, Andrew Leow, Billy Chan and Himanshu Kubal Save the Dying Sharks Movement Raffles Institution(3) Facebook Page Thirdly, we created a Facebook page that we would gather people to like and use inour petition letters against hotels. Currently we have 148 people who like this page. We alsoadd facts and interesting things to it to keep people interested and support us.Benjamin Lim, Himanshu Kubal, Andrew Leow, Billy Chan 16
  20. 20. DESIGN FOR CHANGE - SAVE THE DYING SHARKS(4) Educational Awareness PostersAn additional solution that we carried out was to print out a ―Save the Dying Sharks‖information sheet that we had put up in classes‘ notice board to further encourage students tostop consuming shark‘s fin. This includes information on how shark finning is carried out andsome issues related to shark finning. This is one of the notices that were put up in classes to inform and educate the students who do look at it about shark fin, as well as some suggestions as to how they can help our cause. It also contained some fun facts and celebrities who are against the act of shark finning.FeedbackOverall, the feedback to this project was not bad as we had managed to reach the public andeducate them about the downside of shark‘s fin soup. As seen in the pictures above, we hadencountered and given out brochures to many people, as well as given them some insight byexplaining shark fishing and some facts to them. Besides that, we even interviewed a publicBenjamin Lim, Himanshu Kubal, Andrew Leow, Billy Chan 17
  21. 21. DESIGN FOR CHANGE - SAVE THE DYING SHARKSmember who said that ―Oh my god! I‘m happy that I got this brochure. Its baffling to knowthat so many sharks are being killed a year just for their fins. I used to think of them asmerciless carnivores and even thought that shark fin soup was healthy and good for healthbecause many of my friends told me so. I guess you guys are correct lah… From now on, I‘llnever eat shark fin again!‖Benjamin Lim, Himanshu Kubal, Andrew Leow, Billy Chan 18
  22. 22. DESIGN FOR CHANGE - SAVE THE DYING SHARKS CHAPTER 5: RFLECTIONSTo recap, our objectives were to educate the public on both the harmful effects has on us andthe marine ecology and to lessen the demand of shark fins in Singapore, ultimately saving thesharks. In our opinion, we feel that our objectives have been met. Firstly, there were positivefeedbacks from our action week. Not only did we use solutions that were effective inconvincing the public such as brochures, we added creative elements to the commonmethods. For instance, we dressed up as sharks to attract people‘s attention to our cause.In addition, we used solutions that were ranked most effective in our surveys of therespondents that received our brochures, read our information sheets and saw our posters. Allof them have even replied that they were convinced to the extent that they would activelytake part in our campaign by helping us spread the message across to their friends and family.This shows that not only was our project was successful, we achieved our objective ineducating the public on the true story of behind shark finning. Also, despite our action weekbeing over, our groups‘ message is continuing to spread and our campaign never stops!Our thoughtsIt can be said that nothing in life is smooth sailing, especially in project work. Throughout thecourse of this project, there were many ups and downs and there were times when we almostbroke down in stress. Yet, together, we made up for each other‘s shortfalls. We finallyshowed that we could pull through with our best effort and definitely, it is the fruit of ourhard labour. This was only possible with our unwavering attitude and determination towardsthe project. Coupled with the belief that we could make the world a better place, wecontinued to strive on and believed deeply in our cause. However, we did regret having tostop our action week because not only were we having fun, we were doing our part in savingthe sharks too. This definitely was a project that displayed our ―I can‖ spirit, not only to theworld but also to ourselves.Strengths and weaknessesIn every team, there are strengths and weakness. Our weak points were that sometimes, wewould start to slack and stray from the topic. It did at times cause us to hurry in our work.However, we overcame this obstacle by making up for the loss of research and effort. Theseshortfalls are not bad points but rather learning points for us to figure out our mistakes andlearn from them, so as to never make them again. In contrast, we felt that our greateststrength was actually determination and passion for our cause. There were times when we feltlike giving up yet we reminded ourselves that we had a part to play in our society to raise theseverity of this issue. In times of difficulty, we managed to carry on and strive to overcome.Benjamin Lim, Himanshu Kubal, Andrew Leow, Billy Chan 19
  23. 23. DESIGN FOR CHANGE - SAVE THE DYING SHARKSChallenges or difficulties encountered within the teamOne of our challenges is the diversity in the team. Two of us are from sports CCAs, one froma Uniform group and another from a Musical group. This made our free time slots verylimited and we could hardly meet outside of school curriculum time, thus limiting ourdiscussion time. However, with the development of social networking, we were able tomessage one another and finish the project on time. We were meant to organise meetingsduring certain days but unforeseen events such as camps and last-minute trainings preventedthese meetings, consequently causing us to lose precious time.Learning pointsWhat did I discover about myself through this SL project?Through this SL project, we learnt that the public has the wrong perception on importantissues (an example would be shark finning which many think is not wrong at all); it is our jobto correct their perspectives. Also, we learnt that we have to be sincere in promoting ourcause because people can tell from your attitude, how determined, dedicated and sincere youare. Only when you are sincere will people believe in what you are trying to say or promote.How different are my life experiences from these people? What has contributed to thedifference in my life?Although we are still students, we experienced doing something that not many people havetried doing, even though they are adults. In today‘s society, many people are too concernedwith their work to notice what is being done to the environment. We indulged in a first-handaccount of learning how to launch a project or an act against a practice that deserves muchflak. This has made our life more complete in ways that that raise awareness amongst us onglobal issues and unethical acts happening around the world.How have I grown from this experience?Not only have we learnt much on the issue of shark finning but we have also discovered thejoy in promoting a cause which we sincerely believe in. This especially, when there is a senseof satisfaction upon knowing that you are helping to make this world a better place foreveryone.What’s stopping me from picking up the habit of volunteerism?We did not pick up the habit of volunteerism due to our busy schedules and the demandingworkload of school. Although volunteerism is a good and time worthy habit to pick up, itrequires much energy and time for a person in order to be effective and dedicated. Perhaps inthe future when we have more time to spare, we can come together as a group again andimmerse ourselves in more voluntary work for causes.Benjamin Lim, Himanshu Kubal, Andrew Leow, Billy Chan 20
  24. 24. DESIGN FOR CHANGE - SAVE THE DYING SHARKSDo I have the makings of a good worker in social services?Personally, we do not really think that we have the makings of a good worker as we all sharepoor time management and sometimes drag external projects. The Microscope ReflectionWhat difference or impact (if any) have I made to the people / community?Our group has made a great impact to the people in our community in raising awareness onthe issue of shark finning. It has corrected their flawed mindsets of thinking that shark finningis alright. To prove our point, our respondents have even replied saying that they wereconvinced to the extent that they could actively take part in our campaign by helping usspread the message across to their friends and family. This shows that not only was ourproject successful but also that we achieved our objective in educating the public on the truestory behind shark finning.How has the experience challenged my stereotypes / prejudices?We now see that a famous Chinese stereotype of thinking that eating shark fins is good forone‘s health is in fact wrong. Shark fins can actually poison one‘s body, thus proving that notall stereotypes are right. So now, we think that some stereotypes are actually wrong and weshould not confine ourselves to follow them. We believe stereotyping should be stopped as itaffects our judgements.What is the relevance of my learning to the people / community?We learnt to educate the people and community. The process of spreading messages has tostart from somewhere and our group is the spark behind the chain reaction in this project. The Binoculars ReflectionWhat future collaboration or follow-up actions could develop from concerns / issuesinvolved in this experience?Despite the success of this project, I think there are future extensions for this project such asinstead of focusing on the restaurants, other groups may target the area of supplies such as thebig fisheries. They could also bring the project onto the international stage where not onlySingapore but other countries are brought into the sphere of influence.What overarching issues remain to challenge the situation?Benjamin Lim, Himanshu Kubal, Andrew Leow, Billy Chan 21
  25. 25. DESIGN FOR CHANGE - SAVE THE DYING SHARKSThe campaign against Shark finning has been relatively new one thus it have not gain muchpublicity or support. Much more effort is needed to push this vital topic to attract theattention of the real power brokers in this manner which usually are the governments. Despitethat, another area they can embark on would be spreading information to the general publicand the perpetrators, convincing them to stop their act.What are the larger social/political/economic implications?Looking at this issue in a wider scope, the possible implications that this project would haveis that jobs may be affected such as those of the fishermen that depend on sharks as their jobs.However, they could instead look towards another direction of fishing such as clams oroysters. Not only that, traditions might be affected like the Chinese. Despite the traditions ofthe Chinese, we could suggest other alternatives such as lobsters or fish for grand occasion.Finally, through banning Shark Finning forcefully through means like the law, it might everpush it into the black market causing more problems for officials. Yet, by cutting out thedemand for Shark Fins, the supply would also dry out and the ghastly action on SharkFinning would be stopped.What can be done to impact what the future holds for such individuals / the community/ Singapore?Our solutions create a two pronged approach at the students and at the public and wouldincrease our chances of educating the general public on the issue of shark finning. Thus, thepublic would have a full understanding on the topic of Shark Finning and start refrainingfrom eating it. They would also fully understand the need to cut down on Shark Finconsumption and continue spreading the word of this issue to the public. It made them moreresponsible humans as they empathise with the animal‘s plight.Improvements to be madeIn order for the project to be sustainable, we had to educate the younger generation on thistopic. Since the above methods are sometimes ineffective in changing the perspective ofchildren, we can use other methods. A common one would be computer games.In this design, the player is a shark fin supplier, in charge of ensuring that his companyremains profitable. The player has to control the number of sharks killed (additionalchallenges would occur such as political issues etc.), and ensure that there is a constantsupply of shark fin to the consumers. Other factors such as corrupting sea officials,environmentalists, animal groups etc to stop from being sued, and advertising shark fin forconsumers, controlling the price of the shark fins and customer satisfaction can be added intothe game. This in turn provides more opportunities for ideas to further discourage peoplefrom eating shark fin and build up on the ideas in place so as to increase their effectiveness.Unfortunately, due to our lack in knowledge in computer-game programming and lack offunds, time etc., we were unable to implement this idea. In the future if people, like us, aredevoted to this cause, they can try using this idea.Benjamin Lim, Himanshu Kubal, Andrew Leow, Billy Chan 22
  26. 26. DESIGN FOR CHANGE - SAVE THE DYING SHARKS REFERENCES/BIBLIOGRAPHYM e r c u r y T e c h n o l o g y S e r v i c e s , . ( 2 0 1 1 , A u gu s t 4 ) . S h a r k f i n s o u p .R e t r i e v e d f r o m h t t p : / / h gt e c h . c o m / In f o r m a t i o n / S h a r k _ F i n _ S o u p . h t m lSharkwater, (2003, September). Shark education. Retrievedfrom r e e n p e a c e , ( 2 0 0 6 , O c t o b e r 4 ) . S h a r k f i n n i n g m ys t e r y . R e t r i e v e dfrom -expedition/news/shark-fin-m ys t e r yV i e g a s , J e n n i f e r , V . J . S h a r k f i n n i n g: h u m a n s h a r k c r a v i n gs a n d t h e p r i c ewe pay to satisfy them. Retrievedf r o m h t t p : / / d s c . d i s c o v e r y. c o m / s h a r k s / s h a r k - f i n n i n g. h t m lLi n g, Li s a , L. L. ( 2 0 0 8 , D e c e m b e r 1 0 ) . S h a r k f i n s o u p a l t e r s a ne c o s ys t e m . R e t r i e v e d f r o m h t t p : / / a r t i c l e s . c n n . c o m / 2 0 0 8 - 1 2 -10/world/pip.shark.finning_1_shark -fin-shark-populations-top-p r e d a t o r ? _ s = P M : W O R LDS h a r k s a v e r s , T h e r e a r e n o go o d r e a s o n s t o e a t s h a r k f i n s o u p . R e t r i e v e df r o m h t t p : / / w w w . s h a r k s a v e r s . o r g/ e n / e d u c a t i o n / s h a r k s - a r e - i n - t r o u b l e / 7 0 7 -there-are-no-good-reasons-to-eat-shark-fin-soup.htmlS t o p S h a r k F i n n i n g , S h a r k f i n s o u p - w h a t s t h e s c o o p ? . R e t r i e v e df r o m h t t p : / / w w w . s t o p s h a r k f i n n i n g. n e t / s h a r k - f i n - s o u p . h t mTan, J. (2011, March 25). Calls to ban shark fin soup growing around thew o r l d . R e t r i e v e d f r o m h t t p : / / w w w . i n d e p e n d e n t . c o . u k / l i f e - s t yl e / f o o d - a n d -drink/calls-to-ban-shark-fin-soup-growing-around-the-world-2251407.htmlBenjamin Lim, Himanshu Kubal, Andrew Leow, Billy Chan 23