St Albans brothers pen letters asking restaurants to stop selling shark fin soup

Left to right: Benji and Oliver Furse

Left to right: Benji and Oliver Furse - Credit: Archant

Two children from St Albans have picked up their pens to campaign against the sale of shark fin soup.


Although brothers Oliver and Benji Furse are only seven and nine years old, they have sent handwritten letters to nine Chinese restaurants across the UK.

They were sent to Mandarin Kitchen, Yi-Ban, Oversea Chinese Restaurant, Wan Chai Corner and Jun Peking in London, and China City in Manchester, Golden Dragon in Coventry, Golden Dragon in Derby, and Shanghai Moon in Leicester.

The letters say: “Please can you stop selling shark fin soup because otherwise sharks might become extinct.

“We need to protect the sharks for our children and grandchildren. Thank you.”

The boys also included a pencil sketch of a shark with the letter.

Oliver, Benji and their mum Helen Furse are all members of Bite-Back Shark and Marine Conservation, a charity which aims to educate on the environmental risks of overfishing, stop shops and restaurants selling threatened marine life, and inspire compassion for the marine environment.

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Helen, who is a learning support assistant at Verulam School, said: “It is important because if the number of sharks continues to fall at this rate, by 2048 there will be no more sharks left and if my boys have children, their children will never see a live shark.

“So if people don’t do this now, they will be extinct.”

According to Bite-Back, 73 million sharks are killed for their fins every year and in some areas, the population of great white, hammerhead, thresher and oceanic whitetip shark has fallen by 90 per cent in 60 years.

Even though she does not expect replies, Helen is proud of Oliver and Benji for fighting for a cause they believe in.

She added: “They don’t want animals to go extinct. They are very interested in the natural world and wildlife and they watch nature documentaries like Blue Planet.

“I am very proud and I think people are more likely to listen if it comes from children because it is their future. We need to protect the sharks for their future.”

Nearly 160,000 people have signed a Bite-Back petition to ban UK shark fin imports. Sign it at