A dozen sharks circle around Hannes Jaenicke, who obviously is not on their menu. With this scene, the actor wants to prove that sharks are not the bloodthirsty killers presented in the media. Hannes Jaenicke campaigns for sharks because they are in danger of extinction.
As opposed to seal babies or pandas, sharks do not have a world-wide lobby. They are hunted mercilessly, especially for their fins, which are both popular and expensive on the Asian market. After cutting off the flippers, the fishermen throw the animal back into the sea where it comes to a wretched end.
Hannes Jaenicke disguises himself as a restaurant owner and films the illegal flipper dealers with a hidden camera. He also goes to big fish markets in Spain where shark meat is sold ever more frequently, completely legally. Since oceans have become over-fished, fishmongers are offering more and more shark under imaginative names such as smoked dogfish or sea eel. Besides, shark meat, just like the meat of other large predatory fish, is often highly contaminated with mercury. Since Hannes Jaenicke informed the Berlin department store KaDeWe about the toxicity of shark meat, the department store no longer offers shark products.
Those who do not want to forego sea fish should switch to farmed fish, read the shopping guides from Greenpeace or the WWF and look for the MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) seal, which is trusted around the world and stands for sustainable fishing.
by Judith Adlhoch, Eva Gfirtner
with Hannes Jaenicke