8th June 2010
One Simple Action Needed this World Ocean Day
You Can Help Give Sharks a Fighting Chance
“Divers are some of shark’s strongest advocates and share a deep concern for threatened shark populations. We need to let governments know that we are outraged that short term economic interests won out over the advice of science at the recent CITES meetings where the effort to restrict trade for eight threatened shark species failed,” said Jenny Miller Garmendia, Director, Project AWARE Foundation. “Project AWARE is asking everyone to sign the petition expressing our outrage and calling on governments around the world heed scientific evidence and advice to protect sharks and their ocean ecosystem.”
The Give Sharks a Fighting Chance petition was created in response to the results of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), Qatar, March 2010. Proposals to restrict trade in eight shark species – spiny dogfish, porbeagle, oceanic whitetip, scalloped hammerhead, great hammerhead, smooth hammerhead, dusky and sandbar sharks – failed to receive the required two-thirds vote majority, representing victory for narrow, short-term economic interests over science and the long-term benefits of conservation.
Despite international setbacks at CITES 2010, sharks have recently received historic, national protections in Europe, Palau and Maldives thanks to support from divers and advocates. Together, we can continue fighting for protections that sharks deserve.
Each year, tens of millions of sharks are killed by Earth’s most dangerous predators – humans. Too many of them fall victim to the cruel and wasteful practice of shark finning – the act of removing shark fins and discarding the often still alive shark overboard. As Asian demand for fins remains strong, markets for shark meat are growing, helping to push shark species to the brink.
This World Ocean Day, join AWARE Divers worldwide to Give Sharks a Fighting Chance. Project AWARE will deliver signatures, demanding better shark protection to CITES Party representatives. Go online and take action today – www.projectaware.org/givesharksachance
Project AWARE Foundation, a registered nonprofit organization, works in partnership with divers to conserve underwater environments through education, advocacy and action. To get involved in environmental activities and make a lasting difference visit www.projectaware.org.