This page is available in Japanese here / in German here / in Thai here/ in Spanish here
This petition is supported by:
OCEANUS NGO, Humane Society International, Support Our Sharks, Stop Shark Finning, Shark Defence Australia Inc., The Global Shark Conservation Initiative, Fin Free Thailand, Fin Free Taipei, Shark Aid UK and PangeaSeed
MUJI is a major Japanese retailer with outlets in many other countries. The company proclaims itself loudly and publicly to be an eco-friendly organization, however, I recently discovered that they widely sell shark fin soup - a product that has become the subject of intense controversy all over the world.
MUJI claims follow an official policy of aiming to “make products that are good for people and the environment”, but, in a clear contradiction between their words and actions, the company has flatly refused to end their complicity in the unsustainable slaughter of sharks for profit.
The most accurate assessment to date of the impact of commercial fishing on sharks suggests a staggering 100 million sharks are being killed every year. Researchers predict that shark populations may be wiped out over the next 10-20 years due to this overexploitation. Sharks have a long gestation period and are being strip-mined from the oceans far faster than they can reproduce.
I am calling on MUJI JAPAN to stop selling shark fin soup immediately due to the critical endangering of global shark populations. I am also calling on MUJI UK, MUJI USA and MUJI TAIWAN to exert whatever influence they can over the company as a whole in order to stop its involvement with the rapid decline in shark numbers.
Please sign and share this petition on behalf of, not just sharks, but all marine life including other endangered fish and whales and dolphins, because success with this campaign would set a powerful positive precedent for future ocean conservation actions in Japan.
My country desperately needs to change its approach to life in the oceans before it's too late.
As a lifelong customer of the company, I sent a letter to MUJI regarding the issue of shark fin soup in January of 2013. The answer was both shocking and bitterly disappointing:
“Shark fin soup is a traditional food, thus we will not stop selling it unless the Japanese government officially bans it.”
They also said that the species they exploited were blue sharks. Blue sharks are thought to be the most frequently caught shark species, with population declines of up to 80% in some regions since the 1980s. The species is now classified as "near-threatened" on the IUCN Red List. Considering the size of MUJI's customer base and operations, the company's continued complicity in the shark slaughter will certainly affect regional ecosystems. Ironically, despite claiming a committment to food safety, the company seems not to care at all that sharks are known to contain dangerously elevated levels of mercury, putting consumers, especially women and children, at risk.
MUJI has, in the past, placed great importance on customer opinion. They refrained from using real-fur for clothing items despite the lack of official government regulations on the matter. I believe they will stop selling shark fin soup and end their complicity in the shark slaughter if enough people voice their disgust and disappointment.
MUJI JAPAN: Shark Fin Soup http://www.muji.net/store/cmdty/detail/4548718026647?searchno=1
IUCN: “Status of Blue Shark: Near Threatened” http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/39381/0
The Guardian ”Appetite for shark fin soup 'causing decline of blue sharks in UK waters" http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/mar/09/shark-fin-soup-blue-sharks-uk
Photo: ©All rights reserved by Tre' Packard