With your help, the voice for shark protection has grown to 100,000 strong. Thank you to scuba divers and shark advocates around the world for signing the Give Sharks a Fighting Chance petition and playing a critical role in Project AWARE’s campaign to protect sharks.
“Project AWARE works to be the environmental voice of the global dive community where it counts, when it counts and at the highest levels possible,” says Alex Earl, Project AWARE Foundation’s executive director. “A milestone of 100,000 signatures is inspiring, but there is little rest on planetary duty. Project AWARE will continue to take your voice to leaders and decision-makers as we target the global power of CITES to protect threatened sharks.”
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora has been a major factor in the recovery of many endangered species, such as the Nile crocodile. While CITES has helped many terrestrial species, adding sharks and fish to the list has proved difficult. But Project AWARE is determined to see results at the next CITES conference in March 2013. In the run-up to this critical date, your voice for sharks is even more important to politicians.
When discussing shark protection with global leaders, short-term economic benefits often rule when commercial-fishing interests are at stake, but scuba divers can play a powerful role as representatives of an important global economic constituency. Recent studies show that sharks are a top draw for divers and tourism — they rank highest as the species we most want to see in the wild. In Palau, $18 million a year is generated by shark diving (8 percent of GDP). The study titled “The Socio-Economic Value of the Shark-Diving Industry in Fiji” found that tourism generates $558 million, 18 percent of the country’s GDP.
In the months ahead, we’ll build an even stronger collective voice for sharks, meet with policymakers to keep the pressure on, and present solid arguments for change.
TAKE PART: Sign the Shark petition to enact change.