In 2014 Project AWARE is sponsoring 6 grass roots eco-projects worldwide, 2 of which focus on conserving sharks & rays in Thailand: Blue Guru’s Ocean Action Project & Shark Guardian’s eShark project.
After 6 months collaboration sharing data, contacts & ideas during high season, Blue Guru Conservation & Shark Guardian got together at British International School Krabi this month to deliver a series of educational presentations.
The entire school was involved - a total of 42 pupils aged 2–16, along with their teachers. 4 presentations were delivered with the year groups split so messages could be tailored to the different audiences.
The kindergarten definitely displayed the loudest response to the inspirational shark video!! Years 1-3, 4-6 and 7-11 all enthusiastically participated during the interactive presentations. They were familiar with many species of sharks seen in Thai waters, including whale sharks, leopard sharks & black tip reef sharks. They also found out about more unusual sharks such as dwarf lantern sharks, goblin sharks & cookie cutter sharks.
Key messages taken away included:
- “Sharks do NOT eat people”
- “97% of sharks are harmless”
- “Toasters & coconuts are more dangerous than sharks!”
- “Sharks are in serious trouble due to over-fishing & shark finning”
- “Demand for shark fin soup must be reduced”
- “Anyone can become a Shark Guardian ambassador”
The talks were extremely popular with the children, many of whom at the end of the school day excitedly rushed to tell their parents what they had learnt.
It’s really great to have people from such a young age positively engaged in shark conservation. Hopefully it is not too late to save endangered shark species from extinction and all these children will get the chance to snorkel or dive with sharks in the future.
A big thank you to Liz Ward-Sing & Brendon Sing for travelling to Krabi to deliver these motivational presentations.