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
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.
84 applications, 10 finalists and six winners. A new wave of ocean protection has begun.
Almost 3,000 people voted in the 2013 Ocean Action Project helping to propel ocean protection priorities locally. Projects are action-oriented and strategically address the root causes of marine debris or shark & ray protection issues.
I love to be proactive. I sit at work all day thinking about ways I can spread the word that sharks need our protection. So, I gathered up a team of shark lovers from the PADI office in Bristol as well as some friends from the area and I challenged us all to take the streets of the city centre to let the people of Bristol know that we all need to protect our ocean planet!