Watch out for the sharks at fin-ish line

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 17 February, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 17 February, 2008, 12:00am

'Jaws' will make a repeat appearance this morning. Steve Brammar and wife Janet Ng will again don shark suits for the marathon in the hope of raising awareness the shark is a seriously endangered species.

This year the shark pack will increase from two to five, as the pair, who completed last year's event in just over four hours, will be joined by three friends. 'We will be joined by our Trailwalker teammates Antony Wyatt, Montse Perez Gutierrez and Martin McGovern,' said Brammar, 39, a corporate lawyer.

'We first came across sharks on a diving holiday in Malaysia and discovered they have been on this planet for longer than dinosaurs, and that they contribute immensely to the marine ecosystem and keep it in balance,' said Brammar. 'However, we also found to our alarm that many species of sharks are now on the verge of extinction due to human consumption, especially through people eating shark's fin soup.

'This year we will run the marathon in a 'second generation' shark suit, which is an improvement over last year's design, including a lightweight construction and dry fit material to offer more breathability.'

Brammar said the reaction from other runners and also spectators last year was very positive, although the catering industry has not been anywhere near as supportive.

'We have written to all the major hotels in Hong Kong to raise awareness of the ecological damage caused by continuing to serve shark's fin soup,' Brammar said. 'We received a very courteous response from the Peninsular Hotel, but no one else responded. We were very encouraged to see the World Wildlife Fund issue a fact sheet at the end of last year which highlighted that continued consumption of shark's fin is not sustainable, and that's the message we're trying to get across.'