Adopt-A-Bull Shark Initiative

Posted on August 1, 2013
Written by: Samantha Whitcraft
Tags: SharksCount Program 

adoptabullshark.pngShark Savers is launching a new initiative, “Adopt A Bull Shark” to celebrate ‘Shark Week’ with a positive message about sharks. We want to provide YOU the opportunity to get to know sharks – Fiji’s amazing bull sharks – as individuals, rather than stereotypes while helping support our shark conservation work, globally. When you visit our ADOPT A BULL SHARK Indiegogo page you will learn about the importance of ‘citizen science for sharks’, the fascinating bull sharks of the Shark Reef Marine Reserve, Fiji, and how you can get involved. This initiative includes a new video of bull and other sharks from the reserve and a gallery of fantastic shark photos!

With a $25 tax-deductible donation, you can adopt a specific, known and named bull shark currently studied in the reserve. These individual sharks are identified by natural tags – scars, fin shapes, and pigmentation – and by observing them regularly their behaviors become familiar to the local divers. Based on years of collected information and documentation of these sharks, your ‘adoption package’ includes an official, signed “Adoption Certificate” and a bull shark FACT-SHEET about your individual shark; name, age, brief history and behaviors. You also have the opportunity get a year of up-dates about your shark and/or choose the name for the next bull shark that is identified!

Every donation-level helps and includes one-of-a-kind perks ranging from a ‘shark-y thank you’ and social media shout-out (via Facebook or Twitter) to a week of shark diving to meet a bull shark YOU name, with our partners at Beqa Adventure Divers, Fiji. We are pleased to also offer handmade bull shark tooth necklaces – courtesy of Calypso Sea – sustainably sourced from the reserve’s dive site where naturally shed sharks’ teeth are collected by local divers.

Whichever ‘perk’ you choose with your donation, we hope you will enjoy learning more about ‘citizen science for sharks’ and the amazing bull sharks of Fiji. Please also share the ADOPT A BULL SHARK opportunity with your friends, family and colleagues.  

Happy Shark Week!

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We would like to thank our partners:

Shark Reef Marine Reserve, Fiji

SRMR-logo-w-white-boarder.jpgThe Shark Reef Marine Reserve was established in April 2004, and is one of the first protected areas specifically designated to protect sharks. There are regularly 8 different species of sharks associate with the Reserve. The Reserve was established via an agreement with a local village with traditional rights to the area; they agreed not to fish the Reserve, and in exchange, the dive operators would have exclusive access charging visitors a fee that, in turn, is provided to the village. The reserve was later expanded to the 30-mile Fiji Shark Corridor that effectively protects species that roam larger ranges. Thus, the Reserve is economically beneficial to the villages and ecologically beneficial to the sharks and the reef!

Beqa Adventure Divers

bad.jpgBeqa Adventure Divers is home to ‘The Fiji Shark Dive’ and is committed to conservation and sustainable eco-tourism. Named “The Best Shark Dive in the World” by diving legends Ron and Valerie Taylor, this epic dive has been experienced by many diving icons, filmmakers, journalists, scientists, and shark enthusiasts from all over the world. This is the original featuring Fiji’s unique and highly experienced crew of local shark divers. They also worked closely with the government of Fiji and the traditional owners of the reef to establish the Shark Reef Marine Reserve. Today, their dedicated team is part of on-going international research on the bull sharks, and conducts regular surveys in the Reserve including The Great Fiji Shark Count – the first national count of sharks using data from recreational divers and dive operators as ‘citizen scientists’. Shark diving doesn’t get any better than that!

Calypso Sea

calypsosea.pngTanya Burnett is the artist behind Calypso Sea, creating the one-of-a-kind, sustainable shark tooth necklaces for the ADOPT-A-BULL SHARK initiative. Tanya grew up in the Caribbean and finds inspiration in nature, especially the ocean. She has been designing and crafting high-end jewelry from natural gems, ethnic beads and pearls for nearly 20 years. The shark teeth in these necklaces are shed naturally and collected in the Shark Reef Marine Reserve (Fiji). The leather cording used in these necklaces is free of dyes and toxins, and softened with only 100% organic coconut oil. Because every shark tooth is different (depending on the size and species of shark), each necklace is a unique creation!

 Aqualise

aqualise.pngAqualise is Nicolas Bulostin’s project. The inspiration for which is his passionate love of the sea and his desire to help preserve our oceans and sea life, and raising awareness from an educational perspective. It is not only an artist project, it's also the first record label dedicated to protecting the oceans "Aqualise Music". By creating awareness and through donations to non-profit marine wildlife organizations, Aqualise actively helps to contribute to the conservation of our environment. 

About SharksCount:

SharkCount_LOGO2012-1-75_in.pngSharksCount empowers divers to identify and log the sharks they see on their recreational dives to become ‘citizen scientists for sharks’. Over time, these sightings can provide essential information about local shark populations to aid in improving protections for sharks. The program promotes and supports citizen science initiatives by developing local partnerships, promoting sustainable and meaningful eco-tourism, and developing the simple and fun tools for divers to learn to easily identify shark species and catalog this valuable information. Citizen science initiatives, such as SharksCount, support ‘scientific democracy’, wherein data is shared among scientists, policy makers, and the general public thereby creating positive collaborations with local conservation groups.

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