European Shark Week, from the 15th to 23rd October 2011, proved to be one of the most successful shark weeks to date. We had more aquariums, groups, and individuals taking part than ever before and we welcomed two new countries, Lithuania and Slovakia, to the ever increasing list of countries hosting events.
Two years ago, after sustained pressure from the Shark Alliance, EU Fisheries Ministers endorsed a sound plan of action for shark conservation, but there is still unfinished business: the EU finning ban has huge loopholes, many endangered shark species remain completely unprotected, and there are no limits on the main shark species targeted by EU boats.
There are key opportunities in the coming months to deliver on the commitments of the EU Shark Action Plan so we continue to urge fisheries ministers to deliver proper protection for sharks from finning and overexploitation.
Across Europe, Shark Alliance member groups and supporters hosted shark classes, colouring competitions and swim-a-thons for children, shark dives, demonstrations and lectures. Many more of our supporters spread the message on facebook, twitter and blogs, all to encourage as many people as possible to learn about shark conservation and help Make the Push to protect Europe’s sharks by signing the petition or recording a personal message.
So far we’ve received only a fraction of the paper petition forms back but we know many tens of thousands of people from all 27 EU member states took the opportunity to sign. In addition, we have received hundreds of photos and many short videos of people taking part in shark week activities and asking their minister to Make the Push.
You can see a selection of them in our website, and you can see the full gallery on the Make the Push Flickr page.
We’d like to thank everyone who got involved in making this year’s ESW such a success!
Butt..we’re not finished yet. We’ll continue to run the petition into early 2012 when we will set a date to handover the signatures and a selection of photos and videos to all EU fisheries ministers. If you have yet to sign the petition please do so here.
There are more events being organized by our member groups so if you’re looking for something to do in the coming months check out our events calendar to find out what’s happening near you.