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  • Harriet

Finspire Change UK update: what's happened since the 100,000 signature milestone?

Updated: May 17, 2021

We made it, and now we’re moving forward with our next steps. Reaching the 100,000 was like opening the door to a world of politics, legal jargon and debating tactics that none of us are familiar with. Fret not though, we have recruited some wonderful people in the shark conservation and legal world to help us along this path. Collaboration is also one of Shark Guardian's core philosophies, so together with our collective wealth of experience and expertise we will continue to push forward and strongly we believe together we can make a difference!

Need a refresher on the Finspire Change campaign? Find a summary here!

The race past the finish line

But how did we get to the seemingly unreachable target of 100,000 signatures with only a month to go and still 50,000 signatures to collect? We have to admit, throughout August it was looking hit and miss as to whether we would make it. We kept our faith, continued to speak out, kept pushing and reaching out to people, asking them to share the petition far and wide… and it paid off.

On 7th September, Sea Shepherd Global shared the petition on their social media. This coupled with several other large organisations sharing in the same time frame, detailed below, saw the petition gather more signatures in a short period than ever before. On the 27th August the total was 50,000, in just two weeks the remaining 50,000 signatures were collected, with the last 20,000 collected in a 28-hour period.

7th September:

At 4pm, the signature total was 80,650.

At 5:30pm, Sea Shepherd Global shared on Facebook.

At 7:30pm, Ocean Ramsey shared Sharktopia’s art relating to the campaign on Instagram.

At the same time, DiscoverSharks (2 million followers) shared a gruesome video and Finspire Change campaign details in the caption on Instagram.

By 10:30pm, the signature count was up to 88,000 and #1 trending petition on the official government petition site (for the second time) with 2,206 signatures collected per hour.

8th September:

We hit 90,000 signatures by 1am – then everyone went to sleep. By midday we’d reached 94,000, by 4:30pm we’d reached 97,000 and then at 8pm on September 8th we reached 100,000!

As we reached (and flew past!) our summit of 100,000 signature, there were two live streams occurring to celebrate this moment. On Facebook, there was BBC wildlife presenters Chris Packham and Megan McCubbin and on Instagram Lizzie Daly, another wonderful wildlife presenter, and photographer Steve Woods were celebrating. We couldn’t have thought of a better way to celebrate than watching some of our biggest supporters cheering.