Project Aware’s Big Shark Shout Out was Oct 15-23, 2011 and Force-E joined with customers to celebrate this week.
First we started by donating to the Shark boxes at each Force-E Dive Center…your donations go to Project AWARE Foundation (the boxes are still out on the counters for one more week, so stop by). Over the past 20 years they have awarded grants to support grassroots conservation projects and activities. Today they are reworking the grant-giving program to align with Project AWARE’s new mission, financial priorities and action plan for the future.
Project AWARE Foundation is a growing movement of scuba divers protecting the ocean planet – one dive at a time. The two major ocean issues that they will tackle this year are –Sharks in Peril and Marine Debris. They started their shark campaign in 2010 with their online shark petition…if you haven’t signed it please do so at this link http://e-activist.com/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=1712&ea.campaign.id=10783
So for this week dedicated to sharks there were lots of ways to celebrate these creatures. At the NOVA University’s campus they had a showing of the film “This is Your Ocean: Sharks”. This shark documentary, filmed by Guy Harvey, Wyland, Jim Abernethy and George Schellenger, portrays sharks in a different light; as smart creatures and not man-eaters. It also talked about the value to keep sharks alive. A quote from Guy Harvey in the film which was very powerful was “Sharks are worth more alive than dead”. One shark dead makes ~$500, but if kept alive it can generate thousands of dollars by keeping the reef intact and making money off divers that want to dive with them.
So to prove this point that divers would love the opportunity to dive with sharks, Nikole from Force-E put together a dive trip on Oct 22, 2011. We went out to two reefs in Palm Beach in search for sharks!
On our way out Nikole gave a presentation on Shark Awareness & Conservation, and introduced a new campaign for divers to get involved in shark research. Shark Savers is a non-profit organization dedicated to shark protection and the future for sharks. As part of Shark Savers’ ‘citizen science’ initiative, the SharksCount Program, is reaching out to divers across Florida and providing the tools to help you log and share your shark encounters so this important information can be applied to local conservation planning. We’re counting sharks because every shark counts!
The seas that day were a little rough ~3ft swells, the water temperature was 80 degrees, slight north current, and the water was a dirty 30ft of visibility. However, we all had a great time and counted 5 reef sharks and 3 nurse sharks in total. After the dives, we had some giveaways too! A Great White Shark poster and the book “Sharks Up Close” signed by Jim Abernethy…awesome!
Enjoy this video below…sorry the shark footage is not that easy to see, remember the water vis wasn’t the best!