July started off with Shark Guardian being given UK charity status! A great way to start the month after many months of hard work by Brendon, Liz and our trustees. We are now looking for sponsors and donors to help us continue our educational presentations and seminars around the world.
Worldwide shark bans
Also at the start of this month the California shark fin ban finally become law after 2 years of debates and discussions. It is now illegal to “possess, sell, offer for sale, trade, or distribute” any shark fin. This is great news but there is uncertainty in America right now with new bills being discussed which could over turn all the bans made so far. Read more about this from Shark Stewards who have been campaigning to prevent the bans changing. http://sharkstewards.org/us-shark-protections-at-risk-act-now/
On 6th July the EU finally strengthened their finning ban and now sharks caught by EU vessels anywhere in the world must be landed with their fins naturally attached. A lot of hard work has finally paid off and Project Aware summarises this excellently here http://www.projectaware.org/project/eu-shark-finning-ban. Well done to all those who signed petitions and wrote to MP’s!
Brendon and Liz of Shark Guardian took a holiday to Bali this month and used the visit to connect with some Indonesian based shark and conservation organisations, as well as doing some presentations and awesome diving. 2 presentations on Nusa lembongan, 1 on Gili Trawangan and 1 in Sanur on mainland Bali ensures another 250+ people have seen the Shark Guardian presentation! We now have 2 more Shark Guardian dive centres who will be selling our merchandise and promoting our cause and we look forward to returning for more presentations, as well as some school visits in October .
Thanks to Steve Woods from The Gili Shark Foundation who took Brendon and Liz to see some white tip reef sharks. Also to World Diving and Big Fish on Lembongan for mantas and a bamboo shark. Fantastic dive times!
At the end of July an event in Bangkok was held by LUSH to raise money for Shark Guardian and Fin Free Thailand. The money raised will be used for some shark educational programs in Thailand and we will keep you informed of this as it develops. Thanks to our friends for attending and promoting us whilst Brendon and Liz were in Indonesia!
Our survey on your opinions of aquariums continues and we hope to have the results for you very soon. Such an important debate at a time when animals being kept in captivity is high on news agendas. Please add your view here http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FNYDXCJ
Brendon and Liz are now back in Thailand working on projects for the coming months and planing more school visits. They will be at the big Phuket Clean up on 13th August working alongside staff and volunteers at one of our Shark Guardian dive centres, Scuba Cat. The event has always had a great turn out thanks to the awareness created by Go Eco Phuket. If you want to join, see this link http://goecophuket.weebly.com/eco-actions-and-projects.html
Until next time, thanks for the support and please keep educating all your friends and family – we really can make a difference and as Brendon likes to say ‘if you think something small cannot make a difference, try sleeping with as mosquito’! Enough said.