The Campaign and Its Impact
??Dive Tribes Great Shark Release hopes to be one of the largest shark releases ever staged.
The idea is to release captive bred sharks and sharks we can rescue from restaurants and pet stores in Thailand back to the ocean on Sept 3rd 2011. ?We are working with a team of marine biologists and shark specialists to make sure that every thing we do is text book and no harm will come to any of the sharks during the release.
Currently the shark situation in Thailand is becoming worse, sharks are taken for fins or the pups and small sharks simply taken for soup and Thai dishes.
These sharks are sometimes taken illegally and usually at night from our National Marine Parks.
?By releasing Bamboo, Leopard and Black Tip Reef Sharks we hope we can:
1. Restore a small portion of the shark population
2. Bring public awareness to the decimation of Sharks in Thailand and globally
3. Educate the public as to the importance of sharks
4. Open and start dialogue with the relevant authorities regarding putting in some protection for endangered
shark species in Thailand
5. Make this an annual event until the relevant protection is in place.
Without this campaign we face serious decimation of our sharks population in the coming years.
We have to act now and bring all the public media, aquariums & dive centers together and work as one before its too late and some of our last shark are taken from Thai Oceans.??
Practical and Moral Dilemmas
We have been asked a number of question all of them relevant and good questions that deserve equally good answers.
1. Pratical Dilemma: Should one buy sharks from an aquarium or shop in order to release them ?
Yes....These sharks are caught whether we buy them or not.They have not been brought in specially for us and as we will be buying them all in one day ,it is not possible to fuel the trade in such a short space of time.
What we do is give these sharks a second chance, they are technically doomed as they are sat in tanks in restaurants and pet shops ready for the barbeque or a slow death in a tank to small to live in.
2. Moral Dilemma: Will buying sharks from Aquariums restaurants encourage fishermen to catch more sharks ?
No ..... Fishermen catch what they can when they can. Sharks are not caught to order.
Our campaign runs once a year so what ever we do take has very little impact on any take.
3. Practical Dilema: Can a captive shark be released and survive ?
Yes ! ....Sharks have 420 million years of instinct pumping through their veins. They are not nurtured after they are born they simply know what to do .They are natural scavengers! Even our captive bred sharks that have been released before in smaller releases have been RF tagged and are doing well.
Moral Comparison: Would you donate to release a Lion/Orca or Dolphin from Captivity ?
So the sharks have a second chance ,surely that must be a good thing?
Our Campaign is hard hitting and brings public awareness to a new level in Thailand which is long overdue.
We use rescued sharks and some captive bred sharks all of which are capable of living a long existence in the ocean when released in to the designated no take zones.
Sharks will be RF tagged and data logged.
Some of the facts ?Some species of shark have declined by as much as 93 % simply for consumption in soup and other dishes.
72 Million sharks are killed around the world simply for there fins and flesh.
?Shark are the apex predator and removing sharks from our oceans at such a rate will upset the natural balance and cause catastrophic consequences for all of us.
?70% of the oxygen we breathe comes from the oceans, sharks maintain this balance and order.
Shark flesh particularly the fin contain up to 42 times the legal limit of mercury and can be harmful to your health. Tests in Thailand and Taiwan show some sharks contain mercury which exceeds World Health Organisations Recommended levels.?Infact the US and Australian authorities have also warned the public and particularly pregnant women and young children against the consumption of shark meat.
Dive Tribe is a group of conservation minded divers that was set up in Thailand to look at what we call G.O.D. or Global Ocean Destruction
We are from all sorts of backgrounds,some of us worked as Marine Park Managers, Marine Biologists lecturers at Universities, Dive Instructors and Commercial Divers.
Since we all dived together we saw that the oceans and coasts in Thailand desperately needed more conservation work and a tough organisation that was not going to back down from the issues. ?
So with this in mind we set up a list of projects that needed to be addressed immediately and set to work implementing our goals.
These ranged from Shark Release programs, Marine Mooring Buoys in our Marine Parks, Giant Clam Farming, Coral Reef Reconstruction, Reef Monitoring, Ghost Net and Debris Removal, Water Quality Testing and Solid Waste Management.?
We have also been asked along on film shoots to take care of environmental issues and conservation on underwater film sets. ?
Dive Tribe now has over 10,000 active members that follow our conservation work and news.
In Thailand we also set up a network of 35 stores that help us actively police the Thai oceans and send us feedback on any environmental anomalies or illegal fishing.?
We post regular updates and photographs on our social networking sites of the projects we work on and those
that know us and follow us have given us incredible support over the last 2 years.
??Dive Tribe are taking real and powerful action to make genuine changes in how we treat the ocean.
These are people who dont just talk about conservation they get out there and do something meaningful.
Mark Caney author of Dolphin Way ?
I have been personally funding Dive Tribe for the past 2 years and am now turning to the public to help on the individual projects that we have in our pipeline.
?The immediate project we would like to bring your attention too is Dive Tribes Great Shark Release
This project is designed directly to raise awareness to the plight of sharks not just in Thailand but globally.
?We have had some great successes in the past on different projects, our teams have removed large amounts of Marine Debris from beaches, we have also taken care of Ghost Nets at as deep as 45 meters and even removed Sharks Fin dishes from the menu at The "Conrad Hilton" in Bangkok.
You may ask isnt there other groups doing the same, our answer is we are the most high profile and vocal group. We are organised and very focused on getting the job done.?
Sadly Thailand does not uphold its laws of No Take from its Marine Parks and the other groups need our help to make the world know what goes on here.
?Since our start up we have been invited to talk with environment ministers, policy makers local government, Nation TV Chat shows and the newspapers.
?Our Motto is : To Protect & Preserve??
Dive Tribes mandate is the protection and conservation of the terrestrial and marine ecology of Thailand's oceans. This includes the underwater bio-network of coral reefs and the sensitive land ecosystems of the Thailand's coastline.
At Dive Tribes core is a no compromise attitude for the future.
Our primary objective is working towards the protection and preservation of Thailands natural resources.
WHAT WE NEED & WHAT YOU GET
Dive Tribe would please ask the public for help on this important and worthwhile project.
As little as $1 will go towards securing the release of a shark.?
But a real pledge such as $20 will place you on our Shark Conservation Board.
What can you get for $20 ? - A fast food meal for two or you could Save A Shark !?
But we have some other offers for you that we think make this whole Shark Release programme stand out from
You could personally save a shark by giving a donation for the full amount for a Bamboo Shark, Zebra Shark or Black Tip Reef Shark
(Just take a look to your right and you see the donations are flexible)
If we could make 25,000 USD then all of this money will go towards the purchase of sharks, construction of temporary holding tanks, administration, travel logistics and production of a DVD documentary.
We would also like to have screenings of the DVD and give lectures about Sharks and this event to the Thai and international schools and colleges here in Thailand to carry on the public awareness campaign after the shark release.?
We will be presenting our petition to the environment minister and asking that Shark have the protection they need
and working with the relevant authorities to install a Shark National Plan of Action.
If we dont make our target the release will still go ahead but the number of sharks released will be fewer and documentary production will be put on hold.
And that's not all - How would you like to see a Thai Politician in the Shark Tank ??
With your donation going to our shark release this could be a reality. ( No promises but we will sure try)?
What a Finale and what a way to let the public know Sharks are our Friends Not Food !!
HOW ELSE CAN YOU HELP ?
IF YOUR IN THAILAND & WOULD LIKE TO BE PRESENT ON THE DAY OF THE RELEASE E-MAIL DIVE TRIBE AND WE WILL TRY AND PLACE YOU ON ONE OF OUR PARTICIPATING BOATS OR DIVE OPERATORS.
YOU MUST HAVE YOUR DIVING CERT CARD AND BRING YOUR OWN EQUIPMENT.
Dont be Shy !!!?
Please share this with others on Facebook, Twitter or any of your social networking sites.
You can e-mail it to friends and let your family know how much sharks need our help. ?
Thanks for taking the time to read and caring for our oceans.
?I hope together we can - Protect and Preserve
Gwyn Mills ?CEO/Dive Tribe