Shark Guardian had a fantastic time at the end of June 2014 visiting the three key scuba diving islands in the Gulf of Thailand. This is the first time Shark Guardian have taken their shark and marine presentation to the Gulf. The dive communities as well as tourists and other professionals really enjoyed the shark education.We now look forward to increased participation in our Thailand eShark project and other conservation efforts.
The shark action starts on Koh Tao
On 28th June the Gulf presentations got off to a great start on Koh Tao. Choppers Bar in Sairee was the location and the upstairs room was full of enthusiastic dive professionals and their customers. The Shark Guardian presentation was adapted for these audiences with a focus on local sharks as well as specific species identification. The results from stage one of the Thailand eShark project were highlighted. Everybody was encouraged to continue submitting data for past, present and future dive or snorkel activities.
Koh Phangan presentation at Core SeaA few days later and another ‘first’ for Shark Guardian presenting to the Koh Phangan community at the Core Sea Center. Around 30 people, dive professionals, researchers, volunteers and even a young child enjoyed learning about shark anatomy, species classification and different conservation ideas. As with Koh Tao, understanding by professionals how to differentiate bull sharks vs grey reef sharks was quite high. Nurse sharks vs bamboo sharks was a little more difficult but definitely a fun and worthwhile topic for everyone.
Koh Samui finishes the east tour
Finally on Wednesday 2nd July, Shark Guardian presented to dive professionals, and teachers and their friends and family. For this mixed audience, Shark Guardian included facts and statistics about other things that kill people each year, showing how small and infrequent shark attacks are. The emphasis, as ever, was to show that sharks do not eat people and that we are not their natural food. The presentation was very well received and Shark Guardian will shortly be making plans to visit schools on Samui at the end of the year.
Thailand eShark and Species identification
The Thailand eShark project identified ten main species of sharks. The scientist behind the project has suggested that there may have been some confusion over certain species. Shark Guardian therefore decided to highlight the eShark results as well as discuss species differentiation to help everybody. The data has been shared with the Thailand fisheries department to see if certain species are found in Thailand waters. Shark Guardian look forward to working further with the fisheries and hope this important data can help guide and implement shark fishing laws.
Shark Guardian wish to thank everyone who made the trip to the Gulf so successful. Specific thank you’s go to Choppers bar for their room and kind donation from the bar. Also Lizzie from Big Blue for her help in organising the Choppers event. Core Sea were a great host on Kho Phangan and we seem to have inspired our next wave of Shark Guardians there – big thanks to Soureya! Thank you to Camille Lemmens and the Imperial Boathouse on Samui. The loan of a room and last minute advertising was awesome. Finally thank you Project Aware for making the Thailand eShark Project possible and your further support!