A big thanks to Austin Williams for raising over $2,000 through the sale of his funky t-shirt designs. Austin combines his creativity and passion for the ocean to create unique humorous t-shirts with a serious message.
“Dive T-Shirts supports Project AWARE’s Mantas at Risk Campaign and this month’s favourite tee is ‘What Manta?’ said Austin.
"The T-shirts feature iconic species like sharks, whale sharks, turtles and manta rays. All these species face pressure from human activities including habitat destruction, over-exploitation of natural resources and pollution. Today, scientists predict animals are going extinct at 100 to 1,000 times the typical rate. Currently three quarters of pelagic sharks and ray species are threatened with extinction," says Austin.
The Manta Ray, Whale Shark, Shark and Turtle T-Shirts all support Project AWARE Foundation with 20% of the dive t-shirts retail price going to ocean protection efforts.
Did you know demand for the manta rays’ gill rakers – the tight-knit, feathery structures that strain plankton – has recently surged, placing manta populations in grave danger. Mantas have been classified as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). With gill rakers fetching a one-time payout of $500 per kilogram for a pseudo-medicinal product, is it really worth the destruction? Visit Project AWARE Manta’s At Risk to find out more.