Project AWARE's Big Shark Shout Out Week has just wrapped up and we couldn’t be more thrilled with the noise you've made for sharks. October gave way to an incredible show of support from divers around the world as they shouted out loud that sharks need urgent protection.
Project AWARE, as a steering group member of the Shark Alliance, co-ordinated Big Shark Shout Out activities in support of European Shark Week not only in Europe, but globally, gaining huge support from the diving community.
Big Shark Shout Out Walls
By creating local Shark Shout Out Walls in your local area throughout October you've helped raise awareness of dwindling shark populations and the issues associated with overfishing and shark finning. Your shout outs have been heard from all corners of the world, from the United Kingdom to Russia, Malaysia to Australia.
Coinciding with Shark Alliance’s fifth annual European Shark Week and Project AWARE’s Give Sharks a Fighting Chance signature campaign – divers worldwide called on European Union (EU) fisheries ministers and parties to Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) to protect sharks from overexploitation.
For five years, the Shark Alliance, EU fisheries and environment officials, and Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have been discussing the need to better protect sharks. Two years ago, EU Fisheries Ministers endorsed a sound EU Shark Action Plan that led to significant strides toward conservation of these exceptionally vulnerable species. Yet, there is unfinished business.
Targeted EU shark fisheries continue without limits, many endangered species remain unprotected, and the EU ban on ‘finning’ still has huge loopholes that make it possible to fin sharks without detection or punishment. But this is about to change, thanks to your support!
Key Opportunities in the Next Coming Months
The Commission’s long-awaited proposal for strengthening the EU finning regulation is expected in the autumn and represents a critical opportunity to take the EU finning ban from lagging to leading and to positively influence finning policies around the world.
In the next coming months, there will be key opportunities to deliver on the commitments of the Community Plan of Action for Sharks (CPOA) and by adding your name to the "Make the Push to Protect Europe's Sharks" petition. Your support will make a difference on the outcome and enforcement of the plan.
So far 31,863 people have signed the petition which will run until early 2012, so if you haven't signed yet, do so before it's too late!
Thank you for Shouting Out Loud for Sharks
We would like to take on this oppotunity to thank all our supporters who have signed the Give Sharks a Fighting Chance petition campaign since its launch on World Oceans Day 2010. So far we've collected 81,087 signatures! Keep shouting out loud for sharks and spread the word about the need to protect them! This petition runs until the next CITES meeting in 2013. Let's make sure vulnerable sharks species get the trade protection they desperately need.