Shark Guardian

Registered Charity Number: 1152654

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Shark Guardian Update for September 2013

Date posted: 01 Oct 2013

Monthly Update: September 2013 – Hong Kong Government bans shark fin at meetings plus Shark Guardian goes global!

Hong Kong Government bans shark fin at official events

Shark finning

Shark finning – photograph donated by Alex Hoffard

Hong Kong handles between 50 and 80% of the worlds shark fin trade. It is therefore classed as the ‘hub’ of all shark fin activity, from where fins are mainly passed on to China. In mid September the Hong Kong government announced that it would be banning shark fin, blue fin tuna and black moss from their official government events. It also instructed officials not to eat it at other events. For Hong Kong, the capital of the shark fin trade, this is a huge step for a country which has so very much to do to save our sharks.

Local shark activities in Thailand

Shark Guardian did their first presentation at the Beyond resort in Khao Lak last month. A small crowd of 15 enjoyed the information, photographs and videos which Liz and Brendon shared. Shark Guardian hope this will be the start of more resort presentations, targeting mainly non-divers who have little knowledge of sharks or the shark finning industry. We are already in touch with some other resorts to arrange events over the coming months.

Shark Guardian supports and promotes Spot the Leopard Shark:Thailand

Shark Guardian supports local project

Spot the Leopard Shark: Thailand is going full steam ahead around Koh Phi Phi in the Andaman Sea. We will keep you informed of shark sightings and news over the coming months. Shark Guardian hopes to get the Khao Lak and Koh Lanta dive communities involved in the project very soon. Check out the page on our website about this

Students take the lead to help save sharks – Bangkok schools target restaurants selling shark fin

Students start brainstorming for restaurant letters, March 2013

Students start brainstorming for restaurant letters, March 2013

A project led by Shark Guardian and in collaboration with Fin Free Thailand has gone into action this month. Students from Patana Bangkok and the International Community School have written letters expressing concern that restaurants are serving shark fin. With a hundred student signatures as a petition, two different restaurants have been sent letters. We hope that pressure from concerned students from the next generation will influence action and change. More letters will be sent over the next month!

Representing Diving communities in Thailand

Shark Guardian answers questions from Fin Free in Bangkok

Shark Guardian answers questions from Fin Free in Bangkok

Last week Shark Guardian joined Fin Free Thailand at their Blue Listupdate event at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand in Bangkok. Shark Guardian Director Liz Ward-Sing sat on a panel with Lisa Thomas (Onyx Group) and Bill Marinelli (Restaurateur and Sustainable Seafood expert) answering questions and stimulating debate on sharks and shark finning and fishing. Liz responded to questions about Thailand diving and the changes divers are seeing in Thailand waters, especially in relation to declining shark numbers. Shark Guardian also discussed their educational campaigns in schools. A full write up of this event will be coming soon.

The day after the press event, Liz joined Fin Free and Love Wildlife at Paradise Park Department Stores 3rd Anniversary celebrations. There was an ‘under the ocean’ conservation theme. Liz made origami sharks and taught school children how to make them, as well as giving out the Shark Guardian Information leaflet and answering questions.

Raising awareness about sharks with origami

Raising awareness about sharks with origami (Photograph from Apisit Chavakespongse)

Sharks around the world: Airlines ban shark fin but sharks remain in danger

With more airlines banning the transport of shark fins recently, sharks remain in the headlines. Unfortunately a lot of this is for the wrong reasons. Photographs of sharks in peril, gruesome shark finning pictures and the extent of sharks being sold at markets have been all over the news in September.

In Oman photos of young mako sharks being sold for between 5 and 100 euros really shocked our facebook followers. Mozambique again was in the headlines with photos of apregnant shark left on the beach by fishermen. The shark was opened and the pups, still alive, were released – everybody prayed they would survive. Only by highlighting such issues with reports and photographs can people become informed of the plight of our sharks and worldwide shark fin issues.

Sharks landed at a fish market in Oman - Photo by Sergio Guidi

Sharks landed at a fish market in Oman – Photo by Sergio Guidi

Shark Guardian applauds recent airlines who have banned shark fin transportation. With momentum high we hope more will follow suit very soon. At the same time we cannot ignore that the high demand remains and shark fins will be transported by other means.

Shark fins at container terminal, Busan port, South Korea

Shark fins at container terminal, Busan port, South Korea

This photograph shows packed shark fins arriving in South Korea from China. A visual image representing the extent and numbers of sharks still being killed. Education and awareness remains our focus in order to reduce all forms of shark fin transportation. A long and hard job.

Shark Guardian Leaders – shark education spreading throughout the world

Finally after months of hard work and preparation the Shark Guardian Leader program is being released to dedicated people in Indonesia, Hong Kong, the Maldives, Australia, Netherlands and the UK.

Shark Guardian Leaders in Hong Long via Mandarin Divers

Shark Guardian Leaders in Hong Long via Mandarin Divers

This will mean Shark Guardian messages and its education will spread further. This is especially important since at present, the charity Directors Brendon and Liz, are the only people leading Shark Guardian presentations and workshops. We also have interest from people in New Zealand, Finland, Canada and France. Shark Guardian really is going global with its education.

What is next for Shark Guardian?

Shark Guardian will be presenting in Khao Lak and Phuket next week at three different events. The following week we will be doing a short school tour in Phuket before heading to Indonesia.

We continue to encourage our supporters and followers to consider us for fundraising events and occasions. Please see our website for ideas on this and contact us if you would like to support us on a corporate level. As ever, thank you for your support and encouragement in our mission to educate and encourage shark conservation!

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