Recently, our Ocean Action volunteers joined forces with the Galapagos Science Center to organize the Galapgos’ first ever “Shark Day”. For this special event we invited the local public to discover more about sharks and their conservation in the Galapagos Archipelago.
Mainly aiming at the participation and education of children, our team set up a variety of games and activities all about sharks, their life history and conservation. Participants were invited to learn more about the Galapagos Islands' environment and it’s top predators in a playful and creative way. The games were not only designed to educate about the magnificence of sharks and their natural habitats, but also inspire awareness about global as well as local issues.
The first shark fans showed up even earlier than had been advertised and immediately started to embrace the activities offered by the event. With the help of our volunteers, the young visitors participated in a contest to craft a model shark from plastic litter, which had been collected from local beaches by primary schools. Especially, attractive activities for the community’s children, was to get their face painted, to play “put the fin on the shark” or to draw their favorite shark themselves.
A giant board game, the “Sharkopoly”, challenged players (representing sharks) to cope with natural as well as human induced threats and to try their knowledge about the local shark species and conservation issues on their way to the finish line.
Our highlight of the day was the Shark Jeopardy, which was displayed on a large screen on the promenade just after sunset. Participants had to work in teams in order to take on questions in one of the five categories: 1.Facts about sharks 2.Sharks in the Galapagos 3.Shark physiology 4.Sharks in Peril, and 5. Shark conservation.
Creativity and enthusiasm of the participants was astonishing, and many prices were handed out for the diverse activities and games. Shark gummies and books about shark conservation in the Galapagos were awarded as well as stuffed sharks and our project’s shark T-shirts.
We don’t measure the event’s success by the large number of participants, but rather by the fact, that we were able to raise awareness about our Ocean Action Project among the community and fascinate the local youth to learn more about their natural heritage and it’s conservation.