An Ironman for Sharks


When Brian Yannutz qualified for the prestigious Ironman World Championships in Hawaii he couldn't think of a better opportunity to promote shark conservation. As a graduate in marine sciences from the University of Hawaii, he had already been active in shark conservation in his local area. After the landmark fin trade ban in Hawaii, Brian visited local Chinese restaurants to inform them of the new legislation and to get them to sign a pledge to stop selling shark fin soup.

The Ironman, with its huge popularity and television coverage was the perfect opportunity to speak up for sharks.  On the day of the race he wore his bright blue jersey with the words “Stop shark finning” boldly printed on the front and back. During the bicycle portion of the race, Brian sported an awesome dorsal fin on his helmet as he raced past the barren lava fields of Hawaii’s ‘Big Island’.

And when things got tough it was his passion for sharks that got him through. “There were many times I wanted to quit the race, but I would think of the sharks and my will to save them encouraged me to keep going,” Brian explains.

Yannutz2.jpgThe Shark Savers team applauds Brian’s herculean effort that raised over $130 and broadcast the message not only to the other competitors and spectators, but also to millions of television viewers. Brian has plans to continue his support for Shark Savers by repeating his journey in the next Ironman World Championships. We are grateful and inspired by his continued support of Shark Savers! 

This impressive feat of athleticism is one example of how people can apply their talents in unique ways to raise awareness and funds in support of the dedicated efforts of Shark Savers’ conservation programs.

But you don’t have to tackle a triathlon to make a difference. You, too, can create or celebrate an event by raising funds to save sharks and rays through Shark Savers' programs. Click here to learn more about creating your own fundraiser, with your personalized Donor Page for shark conservation. Thank you.