Here at White Shark Projects we fly our responsible tourism flag high and we take pride in our social and environmental roles. We have a firm belief in conservation through education and aim to turn everybody into a shark and ocean ambassador. Therefore, we ensure that we share as much information as possible with our clients, informing them of the plight of the Great White Shark and the ocean environment as a whole.
Filled with a sense of responsibility and purpose, White Shark Projects birthed an annual awareness campaign called The 21 Days for the Ocean. Our goal: to spread awareness of the impact we have on our oceans and to get people to fall in love with the ocean. After all, you protect what you love. We show people very simple, yet very effective ways to make a difference, regardless of their age or socio-economic status.
In 2007 White Shark Projects launched The Recycle Swop Shop in Masekhane, Gansbaai. The Recycle Swop Shop is a double edged conservation effort. It forms part of our holistic approach to Responsible Tourism – combining the human, animal and habitat aspects of conservation. You simply cannot focus on one without affecting the others, so no point in isolating them.
Every Tuesday children bring their collection of recyclables which they’ve collected and we reward them with points, which they can then “spend” in the Swop Shop. Each child also receives a warm cup of soup. The Recycle Swop Shop is stocked with school stationary, second hand clothes and some everyday essentials. All of the stock in the shop is either sponsored by White Shark Projects or donated by individuals – which is where tourist to our area can make a difference too.
Tourists are invited to sponsor goods to the Recycle Swop Shop, which would continue to inspire the children of Masekhane. On average we have between 150 – 200 children delivering nearly 500kg of recyclable material every week. Last year the children of Masekhane collected an astounding 15 tonnes of recyclables, which equates to preventing tonnes of plastic from blowing into the ocean, where it causes endless damage to marine life.