What a way to wrap up a great year! 2019 has been a year of excitement and growth for Shark Guardian and things certainly didn’t slow down towards the final few months.
The month of October saw an extremely exciting premier event screening of Sharkwater Extinction, held at the Sofitel Krabi Golf & Spa Resort in Krabi, Thailand. This educational evening saw the collaboration of Shark Guardian and Accor Planet 21, focusing on promoting awareness around sharks and their ecosystem importance whilst highlighting the devastating effects of shark finning.
The Shark Guardian educators were working hard throughout October including supporting the Eco Beasts Community Action Day (CAD). Many children from schools across Bangkok, Thailand, joined forces to eagerly listen to presentations about sharks from Educator Sheena Kanatapura and fellow Shark Guardian Student Ambassadors as well as taking part in specially designed workshops.
Aside from the Shark Guardian educators reaching out to the next generation of Shark Guardians, Director Brendon visited BCIS in Phuket, Thailand and presented to both primary and secondary students on the work that the charity does, and why every person should care about sharks.
We saw the charity gain several brand new Shark Guardian Presenters in November so that they can go out and spread the message of shark conservation far and wide. The training provided them with the knowledge to deliver Shark Guardian presentations to schools and groups, as well as create fundraisers and lead anti-shark finning campaigns. Welcome to the team guys!
The London Eco Film Festival took place in London, UK, over two days and saw Shark Guardian Presenter Katie Woodroffe deliver a presentation to an audience of varying ages and backgrounds. The film festival highlighted the importance of media in environmental education and protection and we were joined by some of todays leading charities and NGO’s from across the world.
Brendon joined the ServICE school weekend at The International Community School in Bangkok to promote the work of Shark Guardian as well as inspire students to take action in their schools. This was after a mornings presentations at Bangkok Preparatory school where over 100 students from Key Stage 2 enjoyed their special visit.
Unfortunately, one part of the world appeared to take a step backwards in terms of the protection of shark species as Columbia’s Ministry of Agriculture issued a resolution that allowed 500 tonnes of sharks to be fished by artisanal fishermen. Sadly enough, this also included species that the IUCN had advised against hunting due to their vulnerability to extinction. There is currently a lot of work being done by conservationists to put pressure on the government of Columbia and you can help by:
November saw another Sharkwater Extinction screening at Blue Tree Lagoon in Phuket, whilst simultaneously introducing Oceans for All Foundations Shark Breeding Project and Protection of Zebra sharks to declare the Zebra shark and endangered species in Thailand waters. Brendon joined up with David Martin to explain the reasons behind the efforts in protecting Zebra sharks in Thailand. If you have not got involved already in supporting the call for increased protection, please sign and share the petition
It is always a pleasure visiting dive centers and presenting to both new and experienced divers. Brendon visited Bubbles Dive Center in Jakarta, Indonesia to deliver a talk about the importance of sharks in marine ecosystems and how research can help strengthen efforts of conservation. This was in the evening after a very fun day presenting to hundreds of students from The British School Jakarta.
There was news worth celebrating in November when the US House passed the Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act (H.R. 737) making it illegal to hold, buy or sell shark fins in the United States. This was fantastic news as believe it or not, the US imported 540,000 pounds of fins in 2017 so by simply passing this bill, it will in turn reduce the US’s impact on the global shark fin market. The bill banned all trade, distribution and possession for commercial purposes of shark fins and products containing shark fin. However, it does not ban fishermen from fishing for sharks or selling their meat and also still allows for recreational fishermen to hold onto shark fins for “non- commercial use”. If you have not read it already, you can find out more information on this legislation in our blog.
It’s been a couple of years since Brendon and Liz have been in the UK to deliver shark and marine presentations in schools so they were very happy to visit 4 schools in December 2019. Dame Catherine Harpur (Derby), Church Langton (Market Harborough), Leen Mills (Nottingham) and Bleasby Primary (Nottingham) LOVED their visits. More than 800 children are still talking sharks and hoping to make a trip to see the 2nd biggest shark (Basking shark) which lives in UK waters!
Throughout 2020, we want to grow our reach and present to more schools across the world. If you want a visit, or even digital visit, drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org to get your school or country onto our schedule!