DiveBuzz is a a big supporter of Project AWARE, and an even bigger supporter of shark conservation issues and helping to increase awareness of their current plight.
This April, Project AWARE Foundation and global movement of divers are pulling out all the stops for sharks during the Big Shark Shout Out - a shark month of action aimed at protecting sharks from overexploitation – overfishing, finning and bycatch.
This Earth Day and throughout April, Project AWARE and divers worldwide call on local communities to rally support for the protection of the world’s most vulnerable shark species by signing and organizing petition signatures to protect heavily traded species. Big Shark Shout Out events will span the globe and include shark petition rallies, education events and seminars.
Nearly 100,000 concerned divers and shark advocates have already signed their support for Project AWARE’s shark petition. But additional support is needed to ensure the voices of global shark advocates are heard.
“AWARE divers worldwide are anxious to support shark protection,” says Suzanne Pleydell, Project AWARE Director. “And it’s essential that we continue focusing our support on shark protection measures that have teeth and result in measurable change.”
Project AWARE’s petition campaign targets the power of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) to help protect threatened sharks with the next meeting to take place in Thailand, March 2013.
While CITES has helped to save a myriad of terrestrial species, the effort to add sharks and marine fish to CITES is still relatively new ground and has resulted in difficult battles. Although the tide is turning, and basking, whale and great white sharks were added in the last decade, there is still often vigorous opposition to the listing of commercially valuable fish under CITES.
Project AWARE is working on using the power of CITES to secure listing for some of the shark species most deserving of CITES protections including: hammerheads, oceanic whitetip, spiny dogfish and porbeagle sharks. We’re also aiming for consideration of sharks’ close relatives such as the heavily traded manta and devil rays.
Time is running out for sharks! Public support for shark conservation is crucial to balance short-term interests and ensure that strong and enforceable shark conservation measures are implemented.
:: UPDATE ::
Project AWARE reached a massive milestone during April’s Big Shark Shout Out and we couldn’t be more thrilled. Hundreds of supporters shouted for sharks and took AWARE’s shark petition to the streets helping reach an impressive total of 100,000 signatures. These signatures give a stronger, united voice to push for trade protection for the world’s most vulnerable shark species.
From Africa to Australia, Canada to Thailand, you have been standing up for endangered sharks before it’s too late. Big Shark Shout Out events this April proved that the diving community are dedicated to shark protection and that their love for sharks is stronger than ever before.
Using your voice to turn the pressure up
Leading up to the Convention of International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) scheduled in March 2013 in Thailand, Project AWARE, armed with your signatures and your passion for sharks, will engage CITES delegates and use your voice to make profound arguments for change. We are determined to make your voice heard.
Find out more about Project AWARE’s shark protection campaign at www.projectaware.org.
Pledge your support for more protection for vulnerable shark species by signing the Project AWARE Shark petition.