The two months of our Adopt-A-Bull-Shark Initiative and fundraiser are DONE! And thanks to all you generous donors and our partners, it was a great success: we raised $11,600 for shark conservation, 177 people 'adopted' a bull shark from Shark Reef Marine Reserve, Fiji, and many donated, directly, to support shark conservation via SharksCount and The Great Fiji Shark Count. Over 1000 people visited and shared the page to learn about how ‘natural tags’ are documented to name and study the bull sharks of the Reserve.
Our key partner, Beqa Adventure Divers, supplied the video footage, individual bull shark photos/ID’s and lots of social media support via their facebook page and blog – THANK YOU! And they donated a week of diving in Fiji to two lucky donors/winners. By donating over $100, in the last week and naming a bull shark, Taryn will be heading to Fiji and diving with the BAD team and her bull shark…THANK YOU and ENJOY! We are contacting the second, randomly selected winner this week, from those who donated over the past week, who will also get to shark-dive in Fiji!
...and, of course, many thanks to all our other wonderful partners on this initiative, including:
Tanya Burnett is the artist behind Calypso Sea, who created 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. Calyso Sea is proud to donate a portion of their proceeds to help protect the worlds diminishing shark population. THANK YOU!
Aqualise 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 and donated the music for the ‘Adopt A Bull Shark’ video. THANK YOU!
OTS offers a complete line of full face masks and Ultrasonic Transceivers designed for the sport diver to enhance your diving, letting you share the excitement of diving while the action is happening. OTS provided the excellent Guardian Full-face Mask used in filming the ‘Adopt A Bull Shark’ video.
Mary O’Malley (Shark Savers’ and WildAid Board Member) and Marty Wolff Fine Art Photography provided the amazing photos of bull sharks for on-line promotions and for the Indiegogo site gallery. THANK YOU!
Very special thanks to our friends, the awesome team at Beqa Adventure Divers, Fiji:
Beqa 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!
Finally, the Adopt-A-Bull-Shark Initiative would not have been possible without the University of Miami-RSMAS MPS Internship Program’s Natalie Torkelson, who took the lead on implementing and managing the project from start to finish, with excellent creative input from Jennah Caster, our former intern and media specialist!