Last week, governments gathered in La Jolla, California for the annual meeting of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC), a regional fisheries management organization (RFMO) responsible for managing tuna fisheries across an area totaling approximately 68 million square kilometers (26 million square miles).
Our ocean's sharks have a new champion and his name is Bali B. He happens to be a hero in the Lego universe and here, at Project AWARE, we're big fans of his anti-finning moves.
We recently discovered this Youtube video in support of our Sharks in Peril campaign. According to the animators who created Bali B’s adventure, it was made to "involve kids and bring a different light to the anti-finning campaign."
Finley the shark, star of Shark on Tour, was unceremoniously squeezed into my dive bag for the 40+ journey across the world from Australia to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic for the PADI Course Director Training course. She arrived unscathed, and joined me and the PADI staff for a dive on the wreck of the "Patricia" just off the fringe reefs of Punta Cana. She then joined the group of candidates from the CDTC, and was formally introduced during Suzanne Pleydell's Project AWARE presentation.
By Mike Holme, Associate Director, Project AWARE Foundation
In a sign that the global movement to protect sharks is picking up steam, Honduras is declaring its waters to be a permanent sanctuary for the fish.
President Porfirio Lobo Sosa will sign the sanctuary bill into law on Friday on a visit to the island of Roatan, the country's top diving and snorkeling destination, his office said on Thursday. The move makes permanent a moratorium on commercial fishing for sharks that Honduras announced last year in a joint declaration with the Micronesian island of Palau.
Back in March I met with the Australian CITES Representatives to talk about AWARE's Sharks in Peril campaign. I spoke about our petition - back in March 50,000 people had signed demanding sharks get the protection they deserve.
One thing was very clear from this meeting - Divers can play a critical role in lobbying for increased protection. We have voting power - and we can choose to use this power and lobby for change.