Divers For Sharks

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Dear Divers colleagues ,

We wish to respectfully request your company´s support to a campaign to defend not only the marine environment, but the livelihood of people who depend on the recreational diving industry and which may be at stake if we don´t act now in a coordinated manner.

As you are most likely aware, sharks are becoming globally threatened with extinction due to abusive industrial fishing. An estimated 100 million sharks are being slaughtered every year, mostly to maintain an international demand for shark fins.

Sharks are not only an essential part of the marine ecosystem (without which, as proven by scientific studies, the balance of food webs is shattered and the health of the oceans is compromised ): SHARKS ARE ESSENTIAL FOR THE DIVING INDUSTRY, both for these ecological roles and for their direct value as attractions for thousands of diving operations around the world. However, divers are witnessing a sharp decline in shark sightings worldwide, which results in a net loss of dive site attractiveness and may result in direct business losses for the operators and associated enterprises, such as dive shops and hotels.

As divers and dive operators, we generate expressive figures in jobs and revenues for coastal communities around the world. Nevertheless, it appears that we are never heard when the conservation and adequate management of marine resources such as sharks is discussed in international fora. The global shark massacre goes unchecked partly because we´re not respected as legitimate stakeholders in marine conservation. That´s why we, as concerned divers, started Divers for Sharks.

In March 2010, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) will consider imposing restrictions on the international trade of eight shark species (scalloped, great, and smooth hammerhead sharks, dusky shark, sandbar shark, oceanic whitetip shark, spiny dogfish and porbeagle), adding to the four already listed under the Convention (white, basking and whale sharks, plus sawfish). While these CITES measures do not ban trade, they do restrict it through several control measures that would greatly help shark populations worldwide.

There are powerful lobbies at work to prevent these protective measures to be adopted. We want the diving industry voice to be heard, and intend to deliver the enclosed draft letter to the proper CITES and national government authorities worldwide. Therefore, we would very much appreciate if you could add your company´s support to this letter and join us at Divers for Sharks.

It costs you no money to be a Divers for Sharks supporter – we just need to know of your interest in supporting shark conservation. As a Divers for Sharks supporter, you will also be able to display our logo in your company´s public profile if so wished, and also will be kept informed regularly about this and other issues that may affect the diving industry´s interest in marine conservation.

We very much hope that you will reply positively and join our global shark conservation campaign. We look forward to hear from you.

Join the Divers for Sharks Project! Facebook.com/diversforsharks

Cordially, on behalf of Divers for Sharks,

 

Paulo Guilherme Alves Cavalcanti, “Pinguim”
pinguim@ondaazul.com.br
SSI Platinum Pro 5000
Master Instructor PDIC #11929
Instructor M1 CMAS #00250
José Truda Palazzo, Jr.
PADI AOWD

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