Sharks don’t have the best reputation globally. Of all the millions of animals on the planet they are among the most feared, even though most species are not even dangerous to humans and those that are rarely act on it. Overfished for their fins and hunted for their bad-guy status ‘Shark Savers’ realised protecting them wasn’t going to be easy. Not only would they have to work with nations all over the world to reduce the demand for shark fins that was leading to severe overfishing but also re-educate people globally to combat media negativity and incorrect portray of sharks in general and the effect this has had on public perceptions as a whole.
With that in mind, Shark Savers have set out to change this and create a globalized movement that speak to the average citizen to join and help make real change. Shark Savers objectives are as follows:
- Improve the image of sharks
- Raise awareness about threats to sharks
- Reduce demand for shark fins
- End the practice of shark finning globally
Citizen science refers to a network of volunteers, many without any specific scientific training, that perform research-related tasks such as recording species observations accumulated over time to reveal local trends in population and areas of habitation. Without this extensive and impartial data scientists would be unable to conduct many lines of research and advocacy groups unable to ask the specific questions that need to be asked about man-made influences on animal population and what we can do to help.
In the marine world recent groups such as Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF) have been engaging divers and snorkelers to conduct reef fish surveys, providing scientists with data for sanctuary reports and monitoring plans to protect the reefs, stop overfishing, and help provide sustainable tourism and economies for local communities. Reports that rely on this factual data can also help ensure support, improve conservation and management of charismatic ‘megafauna’ (large animals), like sharks.
Find out more about Shark Savers at www.sharksavers.org/
All profits from passengers booked on the April 21 departure of the Galapagos & Ecuador tour will be donated to Shark Savers to support their Citizen Science program.