This morning after returning home from my usual Saturday morning routine, I randomly picked up a copy of magazine from my stash of Asian Geographic magazine collection only to discover that I had received an Honourable Mention from the 2008 ASIA WITHOUT BORDERS Photo Competition. Casually flipping the complimentary copy of PHOTO ANNUAL 2008 that came bundled with PHOTO ANNUAL 2009 No. 69 Issue 8/2009 I was going down the list of winners in the Honourable Mentions | Wild Places on page 120 and noticed my full name in print—suddenly this Saturday isn’t so usual any more!
I normally don’t like surprises but to be surprised like this on another wet and unproductive day, I don’t mind! Say hello to this cute tiny little Pygmy Squirrel which I photographed while on assignment at the Temburong Ulu Ulu Resort (check out the gallery for other pictures of small ephemeral creatures).
The Pygmy Squirrel is really very tiny and so happened I had the 70-200mm f/2.8 on my full frame 5D and it was darting about the resort when I first caught sight of it. Standing very still and quite unbelievably, it came towards me and was just inches from my feet—a definitive get it or lose it moment—quite nerve wrecking!
Exactly a month before the October edition of ASIAN Geographic magazine was published, I received an email from the editor who was looking for Hari Raya photographs to supplement an article they’re writing on Brunei. A couple of follow-up emails and phone conversations later, two photographs made it to print—A NEW DAWN: HARI RAYA AIDILFITRI CELEBRATIONS, BRUNEI on Page 102.
The magazine isn’t widely circulated in Brunei but I spoke to a staff at BEST EASTERN BOOK STORE this morning and discovered that they carried ASIAN GEO mags though they aren’t regularly featured. Interested readers may enquire at (673) 2242539 for more information. Recent published material includes Malua Wildlife Habitat Conservation. Other published works include but not limited to the ones featured in COMMERCIAL (the page needs updating).
Between 100 and 200 million sharks are killed for their fins, annually. Sharks have been at the top of the ocean’s feeding chain for 450 million years, their disappearance will inevitably lead to an ecological disaster in the seas …. This cruel and unreasonable massacre is pushing the great fish to the very edge of extinction; threatening to empty our oceans and destroy marine ecosystems. — ASIAN Geographic
… Bill Clinton banned finning in the US and with US-registered vessels but not foreign-registered vessels. Shark fins cannot be imported into the US without the associated carcass. In 1991, the percentage of sharks killed by US longline fisheries in the Pacific Ocean for finning was approximately 3 percent. By 1998, that percentage had grown to 60 percent. Between 1991 and 1998, the number of sharks retained by the Hawaii-based swordfish and tuna longline fishery had increased from 2,289 to 60,857 annually, and by 1998, an estimated 98 percent of these sharks were killed for their fins. — ASIAN Geographic | Page 148 Issue 1/2011
In support of ASIAN Geographic’s Online Pledge Against Shark Fin Soup, Make an online pledge to stop eating shark fin soup just as I have. It all begins with a single individual and You can make a difference!
The biggest offender and highest consumption of shark fin soup is Chinese weddings where the delicacy has traditionally been served for centuries. As a professional photographer, I have had mixed bag of clients who served shark fin soup and those who didn’t. It is not unimaginable to not have this delicacy as crab meat for instance can take its place. Whether for reasons of economics or simply doing the right thing, opting for an alternative menu sends out a strong message on the couple’s most significant dinner.
“They say it’s already (served) so they might as well eat it. But I say if you do not eat it, people will stop serving.“
I have found links to couples who chose not to serve shark fin soup on their wedding night. In my quest for more information, Hong Kong Disneyland dropped the dish from its wedding banquet menu after international pressure threatening to boycott its parks worldwide.