I’ve loved sharks ever since I was a child. Since before I first set foot in the ocean. And now, as a marine biologist, I take enormous pride and pleasure in working to protect sharks that are globally threatened. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature reports that 25% of the world’s sharks and rays are threatened with extinction. Estimates show that at least 100 million sharks die each year from interactions with fisheries alone. The global picture for sharks is grim, but a remarkable change in perception and a reason for hope are currently underway. Despite the misconceptions and fear that movies like Jaws may have created back in 1975, increasingly divers around the world want to see sharks up-close and are willing to travel (and pay) for that privilege. Tourism destinations and governments are realizing that sharks are worth far more alive over their lifetime as a draw for dive tourism rather than as a one-time use for their fins or meat.
Sustainable Shark Diving was created as a tool for the rapidly growing shark dive tourism community to make more informed choices about the businesses shark divers choose to support, recognize those businesses employing sustainable best practices, and encourage businesses that may need to improve their performance to ensure the safety of both their clients and sharks. This is an experiment to see if consumer voices can help build a stronger, safer, more sustainable industry.
Thanks for your interest and I welcome your support of this community!