To facilitate our training and outreach programs in our shark conservation management project in Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia we recently helped produce an educational video on shark fisheries for viewing by local governments, community institutions and schools. The video encourages people to promote the importance of shark conservation through key messages about the roles that sharks play in the marine ecosystem, the threatened status of many species, and the unsustainable fishing practices that are used to target sharks and rays. To date the shark video has been shown to a total of 110 students at two junior high schools on Weh Island, Sumatra, where few controls are in place to sustainably manage the fishery.
The video may be particularly confronting to some, as it shows the processing of sharks from landing at the local fish market, to processing in local factories and consumption. Nonetheless it has received a wave of positive feedback at the schools where it has been shown, with accompanying “shark quizzes” to students before and the video screening, showing a dramatic increase in students’ knowledge of sharks within the marine ecosystem and of coral reef conservation. We will continue to show the video throughout all of the high schools in the region, to a range of local communities, and to stakeholders (especially policy makers) in northern Aceh; as we continue to develop one of the first shark management plans for Indonesia, aligned to its commitment to a National Plan of Action for Sharks. https://docs.google.com/a/wcs.org/file/d/0BzbXVmsVWZobZGp5NUpnSWNsNFU/edit