History

Happy Hearts Love Sharks

Shark Truth was founded by Claudia Li in June 2009 with the specific intention to build awareness within the Chinese community around the issues connected to shark fin consumption. Shark Truth uses positive engagement and works with the community to achieve our aims.

Our goal is to promote an open dialogue from a culturally informed standpoint. Nowhere is this more apparent than in our Happy Hearts Love Sharks wedding contest that works to reward couples who vow not to perpetuate the unsustainable tradition of serving shark fin soup.

Our first wedding contest was held in 2010 and the winning couple were rewarded with flights and accommodation for a holiday in Mexico, during which time we provided them an opportunity to swim with the largest fish in the ocean, the majestic yet harmless Whale Shark. Tai and Julianna were lucky enough to encounter a group of over 100 whale sharks on their pilgrimage to rich feeding grounds of plankton, shrimp and fish eggs.

The 2011 contest was even more successful and the winning couple managed to raise over 900 votes to clinch their prize of a holiday in Hawaii and a shark encounter cage dive on the north shore of Oahu.

Thanks to our title sponsors this year, Flight Centre & G Adventures, we are able to offer this year’s contestants the chance to win a trip to the Galapagos Islands and a luxurious yacht tour with multiple opportunities to snorkel with the wildlife in this exceptional and world famous location.

Everybody Wins!

The Happy Hearts Love Sharks wedding contest has helped bring our message to the local community and the world at large. We have had an overwhelmingly positive response to the contest and received numerous stories of how family and friends of contestants have changed their own opinions towards shark fin since learning of the plight being faced by sharks and our oceans in general.

Thousands of people who have followed or voted in our previous wedding contests have gained the knowledge and awareness that will drive change. Nearly 100 couples have taken the vow to go Fin Free, diverting over 17,000 bowls of shark fin from consumption. This represents approximately 1,700 sharks saved from being eaten. Like a pebble thrown into a pond, the Happy Hearts Love Sharks contest is creating ripples that grow and spread across the globe.

Open Source Model

With the success and effectiveness of the contest, we are currently sharing the Happy Hearts model with Hong Kong Shark Foundation. Our long-term goal is to “open source” the contest model to conservation groups around the world. Check out HKSF’s contest here and be sure to cast a vote for your favourite couple!

Want to support us in open sourcing this effective and unique model of change? Contact Claudia at info{at}sharktruth[dot]com with “HHLS Expansion Support.”