A Shark Conservation 'Plankmob' Event in Mongkok...

HONG KONG - Marine conservation activists and citizens perform the world's first 'plankmob' event to promote shark protection, Mongkok, Hong Kong, China, 25 September 2011.

A 'plankmob' is a cross between this year's internet craze 'planking', and a 'flashmob'.

According to the Hong Kong Shark Foundation, 73 million sharks are killed each year for their fins alone, which are used to make the infamous luxury dish favoured by Chinese, shark fin soup.

Planking is where individuals lie face down in an unusual position or location and post the photo on the internet. A flashmob is a group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual and sometimes seemingly pointless act for a brief time, then disperse.

As apex predators at the top of the food chain, sharks play a vital role in maintaining the delicate balance of our marine ecosystems.

According to the 2010 United Nations International Union of Conservation 'Red List', over one third of all shark species are already threatened, or near threatened, with extinction.

The demand for shark fin soup is largely to blame.

“According to global trade figures, Hong Kong is still shark fin central, but the tide is definitely turning as more and more Hong Kongers realise that shark fin soup comes at a price our oceans cannot afford to pay”, said HKSF's Bertha Lo.

ALEX HOFFORD : HONG KONG CHINA SHARK FIN PHOTOGRAPHER

All images and text © Alex Hofford / Image Solutions Ltd. 2011 | Web design in Hong Kong by Ugli © 2011