Doing Your 'Bit'


Hello again shark lovers! I return once again to give you some ‘food for thought’.. I recently gave a talk at an Animal Aid meeting in Bournemouth, and the rather enthusiastic bunch were quite keen to hear how they could get involved. So, whilst we continue to work toward a few other (hopefully) upcoming projects, I thought I’d share a few things that you can easily do to ‘do your bit’ in saving sharks. So here goes..

First and foremost, signing petitions, including ours is a simple way of saving sharks whilst sitting comfortably on your bottom! These CAN be effective, if written well and presented to the right people in the right departments, and so on. They can range from stopping shark finning and the sale of shark meat, lobbying against culls and the use of shark exclusion nets, and probably almost all of the threats I listed in one of my previous posts. I will, as it seems apt, shortly be constructing a blog post with a series of petitions you can sign & share, and point you in the right direction of information on how best to create a petition, if you wish to do so!

Secondly, going ‘Fin Free’ seems to be a big thing at the moment and there are several initiatives in the UK coming up to get people (and counties/ cities) involved in this movement.  This kind of project requires a lot of effort and attention to detail, so I will hopefully be able to focus yet another blog post on this in the future and also personally be a part of pushing for one of these projects close to my home. So with this one, please watch this space!!
     In the meantime, shark fin and shark meat is sold in restaurants and markets all over the world. If you shark fin soup available, you can always put your thoughts forward about getting it removed from the menu- just make sure, again, you have a few facts to back yourself up. An unaggressive approach will most likely work best!
     Similarly, with shark meat, it is worth asking the fishermen/seller where they got it from, how it was caught, what species it is etc. Again, not to be offensive, as this will only cause conflict. If there is cause for concern, try to take the issue further and contact the appropriate legislative body. You’re probably not going to make the fishermen change his mind on the spot after all. The important thing is to always gather your research before making a proposal, and if you can, gather as much support as possible. Sharing your concerns with us, we can hopefully get other shark lovers to write the same/ similar email/ letter to the same people to put more pressure on the issue. It’s well worth a go.

Newspapers
are the shark lovers’ worst enemy. Most of them are all over ‘attacks’, little or big as they may be, and make sharks out to be the enemy. An unforgiving force of nature whose only aim is to consume the entire human race. Very often, they miss out or pay little attention to the fact that, as previously stated, these incidents are rare and require more research. They can also advocate the mistreatment of sharks, or potentially showcase such things as okay (depending on the views and impressionability of the reader).
     Now, to stop moaning about them and encourage you to ‘be the change’. Inform the newspaper (via email, or comment on the online article) that you are unhappy about the language used, the lack of correct information (always try to provide a source to back yourself up!), or whatever it is about the content that could affect the perception of sharks. If you’re lucky, they could take it down from the website or think twice about their next shark article. It’s a long shot with media folk, but worth a go, and as always the more voices, the better! It’s quite evident that conservation topics or animals in general needs much work in the media department.

The main lesson of the day is that every action counts, and we need to flag up all the little issues that are building up to this huge conservation problem. If you see something you do not like, then try to change it as best you can. Take the time to make a well thought out action plan in order to get the best results. If you fail, then keep trying! We are here if you need our help, and please email sharkaiduk@live.co.uk if you want any advice or assistance. We will always try to do our best!
     Please, if you will, share past, present or pending future experiences on this blog post, with regards to making a stand for what you believe in. Additional advice or information is always welcome, and most definitely as is inspiration from other projects or campaigns.  

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