Obi Sushi Stops Sale of Shark Fin Soup

Friday, August 3, 2007

AWI Congratulates Obi Sushi for Ceasing their Sale of Shark Fin Soup

 

Washington, D.C. -- The Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) is pleased to learn that Obi Sushi restaurant, located in Northern Virginia's Reston Town Center, has retracted their decision to sell shark fin soup and other shark dishes.

AWI President Cathy Liss said, "This is great news and it's a perfect example of the importance of being an educated consumer. Other restaurants should take note of the fact that U.S. consumers do not want shark fin soup in their restaurants."

On July 20th, Obi Sushi restaurant announced their decision to offer shark fin soup and other shark fin dishes in "celebration" of the Discovery Channel's Shark Week program.  Immediately following this news, AWI wrote to Obi Sushi, asking that they refrain from selling shark dishes because of the inhumane manner in which the fins are acquired and the precarious state of the targeted sharks. After a follow up call the next day, AWI was informed of the restaurants decision to stop selling any shark dishes in light of the plethora of calls they received voicing conservation and animal welfare concerns.

"This is a significant victory and we commend Obi Sushi for their compassionate decision," said Serda Ozbenian, an AWI research assistant who works on marine issues, "However, it is appalling how many restaurants in the U.S. still sell shark fin soup, and we will work diligently to ensure that they all stop."

In March, AWI began a campaign to uncover restaurants selling shark fin products by educating restaurant owners and diners about the cruel nature of shark finning. The AWI website lists names and contact information of restaurants currently selling the soup, urging consumers to voice their distaste to the management.

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Media Contact:
Serda Ozbenian, (703) 836-4300

The Animal Welfare Institute has worked for over 50 years to reduce the unnecessary pain and suffering inflicted on animals by humans. Campaigns include saving whales from commercial slaughter, ending the use of brutal traps, developing alternatives for and improving the treatment of animals used for experimentation, and protecting endangered species. For more information, please visit http://www.awionline.org/.