helping the environment
21 Days of the ocean
As the human population continues to surge, so does the impact we have on our environment. Now more than ever it is our responsibility to be responsible. Since 2014 White Shark Projects has celebrated the start of Spring in South Africa with a 21 Day Campaign to challenge ourselves as well as the community around us to consider the impact of their actions.
This blue initiative is our annual awareness campaign which serves to educate the communities of the Cape Whale Coast on how they can be more responsible, despite their age or economic status. For 21 consecutive days, White Shark Projects shows how some of our daily, and seemingly innocent activities, negatively impact on the ocean. Our campaign reaches the community through educational talks at schools, radio interviews, social media drives, beach clean-ups, competitions, fundraisers and basically any creative idea we conjure up. But this is definitely not a blame and shame campaign, we also educate on how they can easily and effectively change their ways, which ultimately will save them money and our seas too.
The 21 Days for the Ocean also has an ulterior motive: To make the inhabitants of the Cape Whale Coast fall in love with the ocean again. Living in this beautiful area, people have become accustomed to having the blue of the Atlantic as the backdrop to their urbanite activities and they tend to take it for granted. Economically, this area relies upon the ocean. Being an area where the Southern Right Whales and the Great White Sharks congregate, it is pivotal that we respect, love and preserve our Ocean. And it is like Jacques Cousteau said: “People protect what they love…”
White Shark Projects believe that environmental education is vital in aiding the conservation of our beautiful marine ecosystems. We are in a constant battle in the fight against single-use plastics that are polluting the environment. Through public outreach, giving presentations to schools, talking to clients on our shark cage diving boat and organising beach clean-ups, we hope to change people’s plastic habits.
A whopping 8.8 million tonnes of plastic gets dumped into our oceans every year. That is the equivalent of 1 full garbage truck dumping rubbish into the sea every minute of every day for a year. We are trying to relieve our oceans of some of the plastic pollution by organising regular beach clean-ups with school groups and White Shark Projects volunteers.
Every piece of litter collected is one less animal suffering.
CONSERVATION & Research Initiatives
The Marine Living Resources Act (Act 18 of 1998)
This act controls the exploitation of marine plants and animals in South African waters. There are a small number of regulations that pertain to sharks, most but not all of which are summarised below. The great white shark went under protection in 1991 with South Africa being the first country in the world to do implement the following act: “If a great white shark is caught or killed unintentionally, then the white shark must be kept in a whole state and handed over to a fisheries officer. No white shark, part or product thereof may be sold”. In 2005, the whale shark and the basking shark were added to the prohibited species list.
At White Shark Projects we believe in conservation through creating an awareness of sharks. We encourage our clients to spread the message, and make a difference.
Ways you can help:
Dive and snorkel with sharks. The more money goes into shark tourism the more people realize the value of living sharks.
Refuse to eat shark fin soup and don’t eat at restaurants that serve it; encourage others to do the same. Seventeen countries have already banned shark finning. Find out if your country is one of them. If not, write to your local government official asking to ban shark finning.
Demand that your country stop the importation of shark fins.