Shark Guardian Childrens Book ready for print: Now YOU can help!

Sharks – Our ocean Guardians

Over the past year Shark Guardian have lost count of the people requesting and suggesting a childrens book to complement the Shark Guardian educational presentation. Finally, with the help of the most amazing author and illustrator Gail Clarke, the Shark Guardian dream has become a reality. Shark Guardian is delighted to introduce their latest project. Now we hope that all our supporters can help us raise money to produce the book and give away as many copies as possible to schools around the world.

Cover: SG Children book Part 1

Part one of the Shark Guardian childrens book series, featuring Jed the hammerhead

Part One in the Shark Guardian Childrens book is an introduction to shark species and their importance, plus the main character: Jed the hammerhead. Jed will be followed on future journeys in the sequel books, where he encounters and learns about other shark species, along with the threats, problems and challenges facing sharks and the oceans. There will be an emphasis on further learning with fun activities for children, plus conservation ideas and getting involved.

Book 2 pic

Author Gail Clarke

Shark Guardian connected to Gail Clarke via one of the Thailand schools visited in October 2013. When Gail learnt more about the Shark Guardian charity and the ideas from the Shark Guardian Directors Brendon and Liz, Gail offered her time and services for free to this amazing project. Gail has spent many hours creating the beautiful text in rhyme and stunning images to complement it. Brendon and Liz truly cannot believe that their ideas have been converted in to such a magical learning tool for children ages 6 to 10. However it seems adults are also learning a thing or too from reading the book!

Shark Guardian send a huge THANK YOU out to Gail (and her husband David) for her commitment, drive and general loveliness in this project! Check out Gails other fantastic childrens books via her website and  Facebook page.

Why are we raising money for this project?

Shark Guardian are raising money to ensure that as many books as possible can be given away FREE TO SCHOOLS AROUND THE WORLD. Shark Guardian also aim to raise enough money to produce and print the second book in this series, so that the education delivered by Shark Guardian spreads further, wider and continues after each and every school visit. In 2013 Shark Guardian delivered their shark and marine educational presentations to 40 different schools in 9 different countries. With a book as an extra educational tool, the Shark Guardian legacy will continue to future school years, even without the personal visits by the Shark Guardian team.

book 4 pic

Furthermore, Shark Guardian want our followers and supporters to influence where the books are sent. This fund-raising opportunity allows books to go places where Shark Guardian may never have even thought of! Where would YOU like a book to g so the children can learn all about sharks and how wonderful they really are?

How to get involved

Donate to this project and receive a FREE book or books to go to the school or child of your choice. This is a win win for everyone and we hope to smash the target of £2500 so the books are delivered far and wide around the world. Follow this LINK to the full page on the Shark Guardian website with information on how to donate. Thank you so much in advance from all the Shark Guardian team!

 

Shark Guardian lands in Labuan Bajo for LOTS of shark fun and learning

Shark Guardian had a fantastic night at the first ever presentation in Labuan Bajo, Flores, Indoensia. On Friday 12th September 2014 around 60 people joined the event at the Sky Bar. Divers and dive professionals as well as tourists who fancied something different to the Komodo Dragons, joined Shark Guardian Directors Liz Ward-Sing and Brendon Sing who are currently on a tour of Bali and Lombok.

Shark Guardian, Sky Bar, Labuan Bajo

Sky Bar, Labuan Bajo

Brendon and Liz ready at Sky Bar

Brendon and Liz ready at Sky Bar

Labuan Bajo on Flores is the gateway to the famous Komodo National park. People head this way to explore the amazing scenery, volcanoes, see the famous Komodo Dragons, and also to dive in the marine park. With some of the best diving in the world, Shark Guardian have been planning to venture this way for a long time. With an invitation from Wicked Diving to lead a shark expedition on a live aboard trip, this was the perfect time to do a community event, as well as some amazing diving. With lights from boats shining in the background in the harbour, the open space Sky Bar was a fantastic venue for some shark education.

Shark Conservation

Labuan Bajo crowdAs well as talking about the Shark Guardian UK Charity objectives, recent activities and a whole list of weird and wonderful sharks, Indonesia eShark was introduced to the enthusiastic audience. This project will be released early next year. But already, as with our Thailand eShark project, anyone who dives, snorkels or goes in the water anywhere around the world can upload their data to the eShark database. Such citizen science projects are needed to track trends in shark and ray populations. Data can then be analysed and used to write scientific papers. This directs conservation, management and policy initiatives. Such data was crucial in the creation of the manta ray sanctuary in Indonesia in February. Shark Guardian hope to play a part in better protection of sharks throughout Indonesia.

A fantastic crowd!

Liz and Brendon with Christa from Wicked Diving

Liz and Brendon with Christa from Wicked – eco manager in Thailand

Thanks to everyone who joined the Labuan Bajo event and for all the feedback and contacts given to Shark Guardian after the event. Also thanks to The Lounge and Sky Bar for hosting the event and ensuring drinks and food ran smoothly! More coming soon about the shark filled dive trip Brendon has just returned from – more than 50 sharks in 3 days, not a bad start to our Indonesian data collection.

Shark Education in Phuket and Khao Lak, Thailand

Shark Guardian have had a fantastic time talking sharks and sharing project results and information with dive communities and the general public in the south of Thailand. Events started in Phuket on the 24th July and finished with a bang in Khao Lak on the 27th. The Thailand eShark results from Phase One have been well received from everybody. Plus species identification has been a delightful and entertaining topic at times! Everyone has been guaranteed to learn something from the presentations, whether a scuba diver or not.

Shark Guardian education in Thailand!

Shark Guardian education in Thailand!

A Happy Shark Night at Happy Days in Phuket!

Brendon Sing talking sharks in Phuket

Brendon Sing talking sharks in Phuket

A big thanks goes to Aaron and the Happy Days team in Chalong, Phuket. They were a great host for our Shark and Marine presentation on the 24th and even donated a share of the bar profits to our UK charity. There was a very warm welcome from dive professionals and the general public. People were even stopping as they passed by on the street, engrossed in the amazing videos and photos that were shared. We shared Thailand eShark data and encouraged further participation from this busy dive community.

A new Shark Guardian Dive Center

Oceanic Dive center, Phuket

Oceanic Dive center, Phuket

Also during the Phuket evening, Shark Guardian met with Rachel Hawtin from Oceanic Dive Center to complete their registration as a Shark Guardian Dive Center! This is the latest center to join the ever growing list of dive centers supporting shark conservation. 30 dive centers worldwide now support Shark Guardian and this is expected to grow in the coming months with dive centers in Koh Tao (Thailand), Raja Ampat and Indonesia adding to the list.

Shark Guardian Dive Center Sea Bees welcome Liz on their dive boat!

Shark Guardian with Sea Bees Diving

Shark Guardian with Sea Bees Diving

Shark Guardian Director Liz Ward-Sing spent a wonderful day on the Sea Bees boat on the 26th of July. Liz chatted to individuals about Shark Guardian and its Thailand activities. Then in the break between the 2 dives, Liz presented a short version of the Shark Guardian presentation, highlighting the importance of sharks, shark species and why sharks are threatened in our oceans. The shark education was very well received and the many children on board were super excited to learn more about sharks. Coincidentally 1 child saw Shark Guardian at their school in Dubai in February this year! His fascination with sharks has grown since then so this was an added surprise to see Liz again.

Returning to local ground – Shark Guardian back in Khao Lak at Mars bar!

Shark education in Khao Lak, Thailand

Shark education in Khao Lak, Thailand

Shark Guardian were very excited to return to Mars Bar in Khao Lak on the 27th of July. After an amazing Sunday roast dinner put on especially for the night, there was a full house in this fun bar and restaurant. New divers, experienced instructors, dive shop owners, families and GVI volunteers filled Mars Bar for the shark education evening. GVI have been instrumental in uploading Thailand eShark data and are helping Shark Guardian with their new whale shark program (more information coming in November).

Shark anatomy and species differentiation

Bamboo shark vs nurse shark identification

Bamboo shark vs nurse shark identification

Shark Guardian added new content to all their recent presentations. Shark anatomy proved an entertaining topic, especially with the Sunday evening crowd in Khao Lak!! All audiences were enthusiastic to learn about the differences between nurse and bamboo sharks. This is an important area of shark education to complement the Thailand eShark project since the scientist behind eShark thought there may be confusion. It may be that nurse sharks have been incorrectly identified when actually bamboo sharks were seen. With the simple tips to  differentiate the different species, the Thailand eShark data will be much more accurate.

Shark education: species identification

Shark education: species identification

Shark Guardian takes their shark education to Koh Tao and Indonesia

Big Blue Presentation PicAt the start of August Shark Guardian return to Koh Tao to support Big Blue’s effort in shark conservation. Their annual swim for sharks will be held on the 2nd of August and Shark uardian will do some presentations on the evening of the 1st and the day of the 2nd to reinforce the focus of the shark event. Shark Guardian look forward to presenting alongside Christine Dudgeon from the Spot The Leopard Shark – Thailand project whilst in Koh Tao.

In August Shark Guardian return to Indonesia for an extensive tour of dive communities and schools. Check out the events page on the Shark Guardian website for a full list of locations where you an see Shark Guardian deliver their shark education.

The Gulf of Thailand get a large dose of sharks, species identification and Thailand eShark!

Shark Guardian had a fantastic time at the end of June 2014 visiting the three key scuba diving islands in the Gulf of Thailand. This is the first time Shark Guardian have taken their shark and marine presentation to the Gulf. The dive communities as well as tourists and other professionals really enjoyed the shark education.We now look forward to increased participation in our Thailand eShark project and other conservation efforts.

Shark Guardian in the Gulf of Thailand - first stop Koh Tao

Shark Guardian in the Gulf of Thailand – first stop Koh Tao

The shark action starts on Koh Tao

Species differentiation and identification

Species differentiation and identification

On 28th June the Gulf presentations got off to a great start on Koh Tao. Choppers Bar in Sairee was the location and the upstairs room was full of enthusiastic dive professionals and their customers. The Shark Guardian presentation was adapted for these audiences with a focus on local sharks as well as specific species identification. The results from stage one of the Thailand eShark project were highlighted. Everybody was encouraged to continue submitting data for past, present and future dive or snorkel activities.

Koh Phangan presentation at Core Sea

Shark Guardian on Koh Phangan

Shark Guardian on Koh Phangan

A few days later and another ‘first’ for Shark Guardian presenting to the Koh Phangan community at the Core Sea Center. Around 30 people, dive professionals, researchers, volunteers and even a young child enjoyed learning about shark anatomy, species classification and different conservation ideas. As with Koh Tao, understanding by professionals how to differentiate bull sharks vs grey reef sharks was quite high. Nurse sharks vs bamboo sharks was a little more difficult but definitely a fun and worthwhile topic for everyone.

Koh Samui finishes the east tour

Shark guardian on Koh Samui

Shark guardian on Koh Samui

Finally on Wednesday 2nd July, Shark Guardian presented to dive professionals, and teachers and their friends and family. For this mixed audience, Shark Guardian included facts and statistics about other things that kill people each year, showing how small and infrequent shark attacks are. The emphasis, as ever, was to show that sharks do not eat people and that we are not their natural food.

The presentation was very well received and Shark Guardian will shortly be making plans to visit schools on Samui at the end of the year.

Thailand eShark and Species identification

The Thailand eShark project identified ten main species of sharks. The scientist behind the project has suggested that there may have been some confusion over certain species. Shark Guardian therefore decided to highlight the eShark results as well as discuss species differentiation to help everybody. The data has been shared with the Thailand fisheries department to see if certain species are found in Thailand waters. Shark Guardian look forward to working further with the fisheries and hope this important data can help guide and implement shark fishing laws.

Thailand sharks posters for all dive centers to help spread shark messages

Thailand Sharks Poster

Thailand Sharks Poster

Whilst on the 3 islands of Koh Tao, Koh Phanagn and Koh Samui, Shark Guardian delivered posters as part of eShark and general education for Thailand. Highlighting six of the main shark species found in Thailand waters, with ideas on how to help sharks, these posters are an easy way for Shark Guardian to continue to spread their shark messages. So far more than 500 posters have been distributed in schools, dive centers and some restaurants and bars around Thailand. More will be passed on over the coming months as part of Thailand eShark since this was one of the winners of Project Awares Ocean Action Projects.

Thank you!

Shark Guardian directors Liz and Brendon

Shark Guardian directors Liz and Brendon

Shark Guardian wish to thank everyone who made the trip to the Gulf so successful. Specific thank you’s go to Choppers bar for their room and kind donation from the bar. Also Lizzie from Big Blue for her help in organising the Choppers event. Core Sea were a great host on Kho Phangan and we seem to have inspired our next wave of Shark Guardians there – big thanks to Soureya! Also Alan at the Dive Inn was superb at getting us rolling with whaleshark.org – more on that soon! Finally thank you to Camille Lemmens and the Imperial Boathouse on Samui. The loan of a room and last minute advertising was awesome.

Shark Guardian partners with Love Wildlife for Thailand education

​Shark Guardian are delighted to announce their partnership with Love Wildlife to enhance​ the delivery of shark and marine educational programs within Thailand. Love Wildlife is a non-profit foundation registered in the country of Thailand, and in the State of Texas (U.S.A.) as a foreign non-profit. Love Wildlife work hard at educating the younger generations about the importance of wildlife and their connection to the world we all live in. This fits in perfectly with the goals and objectives of Shark Guardian UK Charity.

Love Wildlife Foundation

Conservation through Education

Both organisations are built on a firm platform with the belief that education plays an important role in achieving our goals. Love Wildlife have various education programs covering both wildlife and marine conservation, which empower people to play an important role in society to protect our environment and nature. By partnering with Love Wildlife for Thailand educational projects, Shark Guardian believe we can assist and enhance the Love Wildlife Education Outreach and Marine Conservation ongoing missions. Furthermore Shark Guardian will gain access to a wider demographic of audiences, including a larger Thai audience, for the benefit of shark and marine conservation in Thailand.

More shark education in schools

More shark education in schools

Fin Free Thailand

Fin Free Thailand is part of the global Fin Free movement. In Thailand, Love Wildlife is one of the partner organisations that support and manage Fin Free Thailand. Shark Guardian has participated in many events alongside Fin Free and look forward to expanding and developing this with the new partnership.

Shark Guardian at FCCT Bangkok, supporting divers and education

Shark Guardian at FCCT Bangkok, supporting divers and education with Fin Free Thailand

Liz with Fin Free members at Harrow International, Bangkok

Liz with Fin Free members at Harrow International, Bangkok

Love Wildlife and Shark Guardian working together to advance conservation and education

Shark Guardian and Love Wildlife have some similar goals and objectives. These include the advancement of conservation and education as well as the protection of, and seeking the sustainability of, wildlife and endangered species. Shark Guardian are exited about future collaborations, projects and school presentations with Love Wildlife within Thailand. Project Deep Blue was started by Love Wildlife in Koh Tao, on the east coast of Thailand. Shark Guardian look forward to being involved with this project and taking it to other locations including Phuket in the South west coast of Thailand.

For more information about the Shark Guardian UK Charity please follow this link.

Thailand eShark Project a great SUCCESS!

The Thailand eShark Project that started in November 2013 with the goal to collect as much data as possible by the 30th April 2014. With over 4,400 entries of data collected, the Thailand eShark Project has been a great success! The information gathered during the Thailand eShark Project is extremely valuable for conservation of sharks in Thailand. This is the first time that a project like this has taken place in Thailand where the local community got involved on a massive scale. People from all over the world have  helped to collect data on shark sightings while taking part in some kind of water activity such as scuba diving, snorkeling or just observations from a boat. This has certainly been an enormous citizen science project that has provided us with so much information that will be used for conservation initiatives in Thailand.

EShark Update April 2014

Long term project goal

The results from the Thailand eShark Project 2013/2014 will be used as a foundation for phase 2 of the project that will start on the 1st November 2014 and run until 30th April 2015. Now that we have established a baseline of information to work from, we can start to compare information gathered again in the following year around the same time. This will be vital for us to look at the long term reduced, or increased sightings of sharks numbers and species across Thailand. This information can then be used to establish action plans for improved shark conservation projects in Thailand.

Below is a summary of the data that has been collected so far. We are currently still in the process of collecting back data which still needs to be entered. However the graph below indicates the number of water activities relative to the number of shark sightings during those activities. Currently there is a 12.8% rate of shark sightings from gathered data. It is estimated that in previous years (between 2001 to 2009), the percentage rate of shark sightings may have been much higher than this in certain areas in Thailand. This is why the Thailand eShark Project was created and why it is still important for everyone to enter data from their old log books.

Thailand eShark Project Summary to date (as we are still waiting for back data to be entered)

Total number of records submitted from Thailand : 4406

Total number of surveys with sharks present is: 567 

Total number of surveys with rays present is: 647

Total number of surveys with turtles present is: 397

Total number of surveys with seahorses present is: 230

Total number of surveys with whale present is: 22

Total number of surveys with jellyfish present is: 540

Total number of surveys with garbage present is: 1110

Shark Species sighted during the Thailand eShark Project

Shark of Project 2014
Charcharhinus_limbatus
The Black Tip Reef Shark (Carcharhinus melanopterus) – Is by the far the most sighted shark in Thailand according to the results from the Thailand eShark Project. The Zebra or Leopard shark is the second most sighted shark followed by the White tip reef Shark. During the Thailand eShark Project there was also a wave of Whale Shark sightings with more than 93 data entries inputted – this is really exciting! Due to the increased sightings of Whale Sharks in Thailand, a new project is in development to record and monitor individuals to see if the same shark returns to these sites in the future. This will help establish a migrating route and possible specific season and so we can learn more about their movements in the Andaman Sea.

Commonly asked questions about the Thailand eShark Project

Why a 6 month project limitation?: At the beginning of the project we wanted to create a goal, a time scale to motivate as many people to submit as much data as possible within that time period. This way we could also provide as much results as possible to those who have taken part and contributed. Data has been submitted by scuba divers, snorkelers, people on boats or from the beach while in Thailand.

Can data still be submitted after 30th April 2014?: Absolutely, YES! The eShark data base is constantly being used. Please continue to submit your data. Please remember to also submit all your past dive or snorkel logs in Thailand to help build our data base platform for sharks in Thailand from past years! 

Will the Thailand eShark Project continue next year? YES! More information will be coming soon.

A MESSAGE TO OUR SUPPORTERS

The success of this project really is due to all our supporters and people who have got involved for shark conservation. Hundreds of divers, snorkelers, beach walkers and boat passengers have helped collect data for this project. Hundreds of hours have been spent to help enter information into the Thailand eShark database. We certainly have been overwhelmed by the response to Shark Guardian for leading this project and by dedicated and passionate people helping to make a difference. Thank you to all those that got involved!
We will be feeding back the information to dive communities and the general public over the coming months as well as inspiring school children to take part. We will also be distributing more posters and leaflets. In addition we will be blogging and talking to people about the different species found in Thailand, linking this with data collected by Thailand Fisheries over the last few years.
We would also like to say a specific thank you to Aquamaster Thailand, Project Aware and GVI World for their support for the Thailand eShark Project.

aql&aqm-low SharkGuardianWinnerOAP

GLOBAL VISION INTERNATIONAL

GLOBAL VISION INTERNATIONAL

Thailand eShark Update March 2014

Eshark Project Banners for web

BEFORE THE LATEST ESHARK FIGURES ARE SHOWN, HERE IS SOME IMPORTANT KEY POINTS ABOUT THE THAILAND ESHARK PROJECT!

  • ONE MONTH LEFT FOR THAILAND ESHARK PROJECT (30 APRIL 2014) BUT….. YOU CAN STILL ENTER DATA ALL YEAR ROUND! You have unlimited time to enter your dive/snorkel data for the Thailand eShark Project of your activities between November 2013 and April 2014!. Please go back into your dive logs and get them entered into the Thailand eShark data base as soon as possible. The more data collected, the better we can use it for conservation!
  • WE NEED ALL YOUR DATA ENTRIES – EVEN WHEN YOU DID NOT SEE ANY SHARKS! This has been a common misunderstanding during the Thailand eShark Project. As divers or snorkelers, some people thought that they had to see a shark to enter their data. This is a big misconception! NO SHARK SIGHTINGS IS JUST AS IMPORTANT, IF NOT EVEN MORE IMPORTANT TO RECORD into the Thailand eShark Data base! By doing this we get a better idea of the number of dives or other water activity done, compared to how many times sharks were seen. Over time, this data will show a decrease in the number of sharks seen year by year.
  • IF YOU HAVE TOO MUCH DATA AND NOT ENOUGH TIME, PLEASE SEND IT TO US AT SHARK GUARDIAN AND WE WILL ENTER THE DATA FOR YOU! We have volunteers who are helping to collect and enter data from several dive centers and snorkeling centers throughout Thailand. As a professional diver for example, you may have hundreds or even thousands of dives logged in Thailand over many years. THIS IS VITAL AND USEFUL INFORMATION for the Thailand eShark project. Especially where you have also noted when you have, and have not seen sharks during those dives.
  • OLD DIVE OR SNORKEL DATA IS VALUABLE TO ENTER NOW! By entering your past dive or snorkel data, it will help create a base of information to work with as well as compare figures and shark sightings to the data being entered now. So if you have old logbooks, no matter how old, we can use it for conservation TODAY! PLEASE ENTER ANY DATA YOU HAVE GOING BACK AS FAR AS POSSIBLE.

MARCH 2014 UPDATE

Since Shark Guardian started the Thailand eShark Project in November 2013 we have collected 3,817 data entries! From December 2013 we have received just under 1,000 entries a month of NO Shark sightings or when sharks have been sighted either by divers, snorkelers, people on boats or near the beach. Not only have we collected vital information on shark species and numbers, but we have also collected information about rays, turtles, sea horses, marine mammals, jelly fish and indications of garbage or pollutions in the area at the same time. Thank you so much to everyone who has contributed so far. These are the findings:

03 14 GraphTotal number of records submitted from Thailand : 3817

Total number of surveys with sharks present is: 464

Total number of surveys with rays present is: 559

Total number of surveys with turtles present is: 332

Total number of surveys with seahorses present is: 177

Total number of surveys with whale present is: 22

Total number of surveys with jellyfish present is: 478

Between December 2013 and February 2014 – 11% of data entries were recorded with shark sightings.

Between February 2014 and March 2014 – 12% of data entries were recorded with shark sightings. 1% Increase shown!

eShark Update March 2014

The Thailand eShark Project is the largest ever community science initiative to be undertaken by divers in Thailand to help build a basis of information about shark populations in Thailand. Data collected over the years can help us find trends and build a picture if shark sightings are on the fall or on the rise. Data collected in national marine parks will also be important to know how well the protected areas are being monitored and policed. The information collected by this data will be used to access shark populations in Thailand and help formulate plans for greater conservation action for sharks and marine protected areas in the future.

MAKE A DIFFERENCE AND USE YOUR DATA FOR SHARK CONSERVATION NOW!

DOWNLOAD THE THAILAND ESHARK LOG SHEET

REPORT YOUR SHARK OBSERVATIONS TO THE ESHARK DATABASE

 

Supported by:

 

Thailand eShark is supported by Project Aware as part of their Ocean Action Projects

Thailand eShark is supported by Project Aware as part of their Ocean Action Projects

aql&aqm-low

 

Shark Guardian First Quarter Update – 2014

Header for Update blog

In 2014 Shark Guardian has started to do a quarterly round of of our activities as well as whats happening around the world with regards to shark and marine conservation. Here you will find links to some our previous blogs, news articles from around the world and action links you can use to get more involved with Shark Guardian and conservation.

December 2013/ January 2014: Shark Guardian UK School Tour

Shark Guardian at Kings College Junior, Wimbledon. London

Shark Guardian at Kings College Junior, Wimbledon. London

In December 2013 and January 2014 Shark Guardian visited 14 UK Schools presenting to over 3,300 students! All the students and teachers in the UK schools were very excited to have Shark Guardian come in and present a topic that is very exciting and also very important. One of the most surprising things that everyone learnt was that there is over 30 different species of sharks around the waters of the UK. Sharks are important for the balance and health of our oceans and other species that live within it. Many more UK students are now inspired to learn more about our oceans and to get involved with shark conservation. Shark Guardian also held several public and fundraising events in the UK to educate the general public and local divers about sharks. To read more about out school visits in the UK please follow the links below:

 1) Shark Guardian visits Nottingham Schools: Leen Mills & Holy Cross Primary School

2) Shark Guardian visits Radcliffe Junior School

3)  Shark Guardian visits Ansdell Primary School

4) De Lisle Catholic College has an awesome morning with Shark Guardian

5) Jubliee Primary School in Nottingham goes mad for Shark Guardian

6) Arno Vale Primary School inspired by Shark Guardian 

7) High Green Primary School welcomes Shark Guardian

8) Leaving London and rounding off with another 2000 students educated about sharks

 

February 2014: Shark Guardian Dubai School Tour

new SG posterShark Guardian has been wanting to visit Dubai for more than a year so were super excited to receive funding from Global Ocean UK Charity to allow our goal to be fulfilled. From 1st to 13th February 2014,  Shark Guardian visited 13 different schools as well as presenting to the general public. By the end of our tour of schools, plus with several public events in the VOX cinema, we had presented to over 5,000 people about sharks and conservation. Read more about our activities from the first week  (Part 1)  and second week (Part 2).

Global ocean sponsorBefore we left Dubai we made sure that we left something behind for all the students that we visited in the various schools. This included some amazing  educational booklets supplied by Global Ocean. Additionally, during our presentations we announced a competition for the students. The competition was designed to motivate students to come up with a poster about sharks and conservation. The best 3 posters were chosen by the the schools and they won some shark prizes. Then a panel of judges chose the best of the 3 posters that will be entered into a book and presented to the Sheik Mohammed of the UAE. See the competition winners here!

Thailand eShark Project Update November 2013 – March 2013

The data collected by volunteers for the Thailand eShark Project will be used to raise awareness of declining shark populations in Thailand to the general public, Thai government and the Department of Marine Coastal Resources (DMCR) of Thailand. Additionally it aims to help improve protected marine parks with the goal of creating shark sanctuaries. The identification of shark species and areas is also an important step in determining the best method for recovery and protection.

 Thailand eShark Update March 2014

 

By the end of December 2013 we had just over 1,000 data entires received by the local community of divers, snorkelers and people with sightings of animals from either a boat or from shore. Since then, we have been receiving almost 1,000 more entries every month. By the end of February we had just under 3,000 data entries.

The data shows 11% of shark sightings throughout the entered data and has continued to be fairly consistent as data entires increased. This information will be used to compare with data entered over several years to get an idea of shark sightings over a long time period. The general feeling is that shark sightings have dropped dramatically over the past 10 years which would indicate a need for great protection for sharks in Thailand.

Thanks very much to Project Aware and Aquamaster Thailand for supporting the Thailand eShark Project

Thailand eShark is supported by Project Aware as part of their Ocean Action Projects

aql&aqm-low

It’s simple, easy and fun to take part – anyone can contribute!

Step 1: Dive, snorkel and explore the reefs of Thailand

Step 2: Log and report your shark observations to the eShark database, even if no sharks were observed!

Step 3: If possible, report all your past Thailand dive logs into the eShark database including your shark observations

DOWNLOAD THE THAILAND ESHARK LOG SHEET

REPORT YOUR SHARK OBSERVATIONS TO THE ESHARK DATABASE


Shark Guardian Presentations for divers in Khao Lak, Phuket and Koh Lanta

In February  and March we gave several presentations in Thailand for local diving communities. It was also a chance for us to thank all the divers who have been submitting their data for the Thailand eShark Project as well as motivating more people to get involved. Our first presentation was in Khao Lak on 22nd February 2014 together with Dr Fabrice Jaine from the Marine Mega Fauna Foundation who spoke about Manta Rays. We had a really great turn out of over 50 people attending to learn more about sharks and manta rays. Brendon and Liz then traveled to Koh Lanta in Krabi, Thailand to give several more talks and presentations about sharks and the Thailand eShark Project to dive centers and professionals on the island. This was followed by presentations in Phuket at the Green Man on Phuket with about 60 people attending. Liz also went to give another talk at the British International School the following day. We went back to Khao Lak for another follow-up presentation on the 20th of March and have more planned in Krabi and the east coast soon.


 News from Around the world

Indonesia declares itself the worlds largest Manta Ray sanctuary

Shark Guardian - MantaIndonesia is now the world’s largest sanctuary for manta rays, after officials were persuaded by evidence that the gentle giants known for delighting tourists are worth more alive than dead.

The government announced that manta rays within the archipelago’s 5.8 million square kilometers (2.2 million square miles) of ocean will be protected from fishing and export. It will take time and cooperation at multiple levels to enforce the ban on poaching in the biggest global shark and ray fishery. Lets hope that sharks are not too far off their radar! Read the full article here.

 

Western Australia Shark Cull: Latest update

_73917339_73917135The use of 72 drum lines to bait and hook large sharks in Western Australian waters was implemented in January 2014. The state government, led by Premier Colin Barnett and then Fisheries Minister Troy Buswell, developed the policy in response to a total of seven fatal attacks off WA in the years 2010 to 2013. The policy authorizes and funds the deployment of drum lines near popular beaches: baited mid-water hooks designed to catch and kill great white sharks, bull sharks and tiger sharks. All sharks found hooked but still alive and measuring over 3 metres in length are to be killed and their bodies disposed of at sea. The principle behind the policy is to reduce the threat of shark attacks at popular coastal locations. It aims to achieve this by reducing the number of potentially life-threatening sharks by attracting them to baited hooks, rather than to human activity.

Why does shark culling NOT work?

  • No evidence suggests that shark culling reduces shark attacks anywhere in the world.
  • Setting up baited drum lines will only attract large sharks to that area anyway, where usually they may only pass through.
  • After sharks are dragged by line they are shot 4 times at close range and then dumped at sea. Possibly attracting more sharks.
  • Many sharks listed as ‘Vulnerable’ by the IUCN Red List including internationally protected Great White Sharks are going to be killed by these drum lines.

Watch this video below for a overview of the the WA shark cull and the views of the public.

Last week, The Greens have launched the latest attempt to stop the trapping and killing of sharks in Western Australia, putting forward a private member’s bill that would halt the cull program. Read more here


Upcoming Shark Guardian Events and Activities in 2nd Quarter 2014

APRIL 2014: Chiang Mai and Bangkok School visits

May 2014: Hong Kong School visits

 

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

 

Thailand eShark Project Update Nov ’13 – Feb ’14

The Thailand eShark Project run by Shark Guardian has been an incredible success that continues to grow with more data and enthusiastic supporters every day!

Eshark Project Banners for web

The project was created to get the local community who are involved in any water activities in Thailand, to take part in a citizen science project. In most cases we use divers dive logs to record when they DO and DON’T see sharks while diving. But snorkelers and boat users can take part too. This data is used to help assess shark sightings to indicate any patterns of increasing or decreasing sightings of sharks by divers and snorkelers. This data will then be used to assess and put in place steps towards shark conservation steps within Thailand.

For more details about the Thailand eShark Project and how to get involved, go to the Thailand eShark Project page

This is the latest numbers and data regarding the number of water activities completed compared to the number of sharks seen by these people who have entered their data:

Thailand eShark Update March 2014

By the end of December 2013 we had just over 1,000 data entries. That has steadily grown by around another 1,000 entries every month since. There has been a consistent number of shark sightings throughout the growing number of data entries with around 11% of those with sharks being sighted. By the end of February we have collected almost 3,000 data entries from divers, snorkelers and beach goers!

DATA SUMMARY

Total number of records submitted from Thailand : 2941

Total number of surveys with sharks present is: 321

Total number of surveys with rays present is: 412

Total number of surveys with turtles present is: 254

Total number of surveys with seahorses present is: 145

Total number of surveys with whale present is: 20

Total number of surveys with jellyfish present is: 337 


Currently Shark Guardians Liz and Brendon are giving presentations in different locations throughout Thailand about the Thailand eShark Project. Presentations in Khao Lak (where most of the data has been recorded from the Similan Islands), Phuket and Koh Lanta have already been held. More are coming soon in Ao Nang, Krabi and the islands in the Gulf of Thailand including Koh Tao. The presentations allow the community see what they have been contributing to and track their progress and it helps motivate others to get involved.

For more information on the Thailand eShark Project please email: info@sharkguardian.org

Thailand eShark is supported by Project Aware as part of their Ocean Action Projects

Thailand eShark is supported by Project Aware as part of their Ocean Action Projects

 

aql&aqm-low

Bangkok Shrewsbury School Students inspire Shark Conservation for Shark Guardian

Student Ambassadors at the student-led ServICE conference in Pattaya, Thailand

Shark Guardian Student Ambassadors at the student-led ServICE conference in Pattaya, Thailand

At the end of November 2013, students from Shrewsbury International School in Bangkok, Thailand, represented Shark Guardian at the Annual Student ServICE Conference in Pattaya. Students handed out Shark Guardian leaflets and posters to educate fellow students about sharks and why they should not consume shark fin soup. Two students also ran a session to create letters to ask restaurants to stop serving shark fin soup.

Empowering students to make a difference in our world

Twenty Year 12 students from Shrewsbury International School attended the ServICE conference. The total number of students was around 160 and they came from all over Thailand and even as far as Shanghai and Warsaw! Shark Guardian Directors were asked to attend and lead some sessions to continue their Thailand shark campaigns. However Liz and Brendon were in the UK at the time. Liz contacted Shrewsbury, a school Shark Guardian has very strong connections with, and some students volunteered to become Shark Guardian Student Ambassadors for the conference.

Writing letters to restaurants to ask them to stop serving shark fin soup

Writing letters to restaurants to ask them to stop serving shark fin soup

This is a student-led conference and the ethos is to create opportunity for students to inspire, connect and empower (ICE) other students to become better global citizens. Shark Guardian therefore thought this was a prefect opportunity for student Ambassadors to once again spread awareness and education about sharks and marine life.


Shark Guardian Ambassadors and Shrewsbury students educate others with Shark Guardian material

Shrewsbury Students man the Shark Guardian stall at ServICE

Shrewsbury Students man the Shark Guardian stall at ServICE

The Shrewsbury students handed our leaflets and posters to students and teachers at Regents School. They answered questions on the subject of sharks, shark fin soup and why we must protect our sharks and our oceans.


Shark Guardian Student Ambassadors

Two students, Proud and Peral, led some sessions to create letters to try and get restaurants to stop serving shark fin soup. Here they tell us why this topic is important to them.

Proud (left) and Pearl, Shark Guardian Student Ambassadors from Shrewsbury School

Proud (left) and Pearl, Shark Guardian Student Ambassadors from Shrewsbury School

Proud attended a Shark Guardian presenttaion in 2011

She said ‘It is such a rewarding opportunity to help you and your Shark community pursue your passion – as it is one of mine too!’

“The reason I’ve volunteered is because I want to make a change on how individuals come to a decision on consuming sharks. I was once in that ‘trap’, it was where cultural conventions conquer my society – eating shark fins was a symbol of opulence. My last bowl of shark fins was when I was fourteen. I started to see the consumerism amongst my society – all the restaurants offered mind-blowing prices and promotions to encourage shark consumption. Along with this, I saw information and videos of numbers of sharks declining and almost a species wipeout. I was awed to see the contradiction of where consumption rapidly increases versus the decreasing number of sharks. That became oblivious to most individuals.

I felt that it was unfair and inhumane to consume a species that struggles to reproduce.  Sharks are usually perceived as the ocean beasts, but to those who feed on them, THEY are beyond beasts. Nevertheless, it was nobody’s fault. I had a thought harbored all along that the reason these people kept eating was because the media did not reach them nor they could not find enough reasons to quit. And this was a cornerstone to the reason why I wanted to be a part of your community, to spread the word, to pull them out of that ‘trap’ and to share them the passion we have”.

Pearl was inspired to work with others to influence change after learning more from a Shark Guardian presentation in February 2013

“I am so glad to be a part of something that may help change the things that I feel are not right. I think that people overlook the issue of shark fins and that the issue is viewed in a casual way by many people, may be due to the fact that humans feel that they have nothing to do with sharks and so they don’t feel the need to stand up and take actions about things that are ethically wrong.

However I don’t think that this is a matter to be casual about at all. I feel that us humans do not have the right to claim lives of millions of other animals, just because we want parts of their bodies to make soup in which we could make from other things such as vegetables. I got very interested in this issue about sharks because I love going to the beach and I feel that the ocean is a very beautiful place. I also like animals, although at first I have to admit that sharks scared me because I always heard rumors about humans being attacked by them.

However my view on sharks had changed largely due to your presentation earlier this year! I didn’t know before that sharks are murdered in such large amounts, and the video clip that showed me how brutally they were killed made me feel that actions must be made about this issue. Also, when I read about Cindy Bishop’s successful petition of making restaurants in Bangkok removing the shark fin soup from their menus changed my view that I alone cannot make a change – we just have to start taking actions and stop hesitating.

So this is my first step in trying to make a change, and I hope that many people will see that this issue is very important, and that they will stop encouraging the consumption of shark fin soup”!

Shark Guardian presentations inspiring change and making a difference

Shrewsbury Students representing Shark Guardian - ServiCE 2013, Pattaya, Thailand

Shrewsbury Students representing Shark Guardian – ServiCE 2013, Pattaya

The student voices above are not uncommon now for Shark Guardian to hear. The stories and feedback passed on by teachers over the last few years prove that students listen to the information they are given through the exciting Shark Guardian video and slide show. And, armed with this powerful knowledge as well as Shark Guardian resources, students are now making the correct choices and not buying or consuming shark products. Furthermore they are sharing their knowledge with others, proving that the Shark Guardian messages really are spreading far and wide.

Shark Guardian look forward to inspiring and guiding more Student Ambassadors in Thailand and other Countries over the coming year. Shark Guardian wishes to thank Proud and Pearl for their hard work and inspiring effort at ServICE, as well as all the students and teachers who promoted Shark Guardian and their work.