Hungry Shark Evolution bites back at shark finning
Future Games of London (FGOL), makers of the award winning Hungry Shark series, has partnered with one of the most successful grassroots movements on shark conservation; Fin Free™ to help raise awareness and engagement on the issue of shark finning.
It is estimated that over 100m sharks are killed every year for their fins, with most of them being used to make Shark Fin soup which is seen as a delicacy in China. This has led to increasing shark species being listed as endangered by the IUCN (International union of the Conservation of Nature).
“We are excited to be working on this important issue with Fin Free, and hope our partnership can help turn the tide for these iconic species.” Chris Dawson, Co Founder and Creative Director, Future Games of London
The team at FGOL has long championed the issues surrounding the iconic stars of their game series; with shark-finning boats, dubious fishing methods, and cage diving all appearing in Hungry Shark Evolution, the latest game in the series. However the team wanted to do more to raise awareness and engagement on the issue, so they made more changes to the game incorporating information on the issue from Fin Free and specific game play items. This included;
- a special Fin Free accessory which players would recieve if they ate more than 50 Shark Finners, giving them an energy boost to help them eat even more finners.
- specially edited Fin Free videos and ads which then led players to the Fin Free site where they could find out more about the issue, pledge to go Fin Free, donate to the charity or sign their petition.
- a Chompathon competition where the FGOL team played live against players from around the world to see who could get the highest score whilst wearing the Fin Free accessory. (The next chompathon will take place in October.)
FGOL’s data show that during just one week of the campaign over 5M players visited Fin Free’s sites and social media channels, and helped them gain some 100,000 Fin Free pledges.
“We are thrilled to join forces with the FGOL team – our partnership presents the issues facing sharks and solutions to millions of shark enthusiasts and with their help, we believe we can get a worldwide ban on shark finning” Rob Stewart, United Conservationists founder and director of the award winning film Sharkwater.
“This partnership is the best examples of how games can drive positive change that I have seen to date. HSE is a brilliant game with a huge global reach, which when combined with the simplicity, credibility and ambition of the Fin Free campaign, provides an incredibly powerful platform to educate and engage millions of people on this critical issue.” Georgina Stevens, One Pumpkin Advisory.
The great news is that this work, combined with all the amazing work done by all the different organizations who work on this issue, seems to be making a difference. For example;
Sales of shark fins have fallen by 70% in the last year alone due to heightened awareness and campaigning
- Many hotels have committed to stopping serving shark fin in the last year, including Hilton Worldwide, Shangri-La, Marriot, Carlson Residor and Melia hotels
- 25 airlines have now committed to stopping transporting shark fin
- Over 90 countries have banned the practise of shark finning
- The oceanic whitetip, the porbeagle and three varieties of hammerhead have been elevated to Appendix II of the Cites code (as of September 2014), which means that traders must now have permits and certificates for these species.