Sea First Foundation vzw proudly presents the SFF Educational Shark Project 2012.
Starting March 31, after the official press announcement at the Antwerp dive fair, high school students between the ages of 15 and 20 will be invited to sign up for a shark competition, either individually or in teams of up to 5 participants. The challenge at hand will be to design and execute a team project that will inform their neighborhood of the plight of sharks. The website www.reddehaai.be, containing an extensive electronic information package consisting of literature, articles, photos and films, has been made available to assist the students.
Teachers will be encouraged to discuss the project in class. They can either compose a lesson by themselves using the electronic information package, help their students to prepare a team project or invite a SFF teacher to give a two-hour free lesson on sharks and their plight. Our Ministry of Education has been made aware of the planned Shark Project and applauds the social consciousness expanding nature of the campaign. Therefore we anticipate considerable school participation.
Both the teachers and students will be rewarded for their efforts. Every teacher that subscribes with a team of students receives a entry ticket to the Aquatopia aquarium in Antwerp. The members of the most successful team projects receive prizes such as photo prints, DVD’s and books on sharks, entry tickets for aquariums, snorkeling gear or dive trainings. The winning team will be rewarded with a sensational prize: a one-week marine study trip (during the Easter holidays of 2013) in Florida, where they will discover the splendour of the underwater world and its inhabitants.
During the program, the students will visit a local shelter for sea turtles, snorkel in the Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, interact with wild dolphins, kayak in the Everglades and have the chance to meet manatees. The climax of the trip is a one-day academic shark study excursion with the RJ Dunlap Marine Conservation Program of the University of Miami to tag sharks. Once back home, the students will be able to track the sharks on the Internet for a year.
With this project, we aim to raise awareness and interest for the cause in Belgium. Not just among residents, but also in the media, as we believe it could positively influence the votes of Belgian MEPs and the position of our fisheries minister, related to the fins attached – no exceptions, proposal.