Ocean News

Australian Football Meets European Shark Week

14th October 2009

Australian football team the Montpellier Fire Sharks came face to face with their aquatic colleagues at the French launch of European Shark Week in Grau de Roi.  This goes to show that in spite of their reputation, sharks inspire support from many sections of French civil society.

It wasn’t just the football team,  many turned up to  celebrate the launch of European Shark Week at the Seaquarium in Grau de Roi and what a launch it was!

Held in an impressive and immense area dedicated to sharks there was really a lot on offer:

  • Bernard Seret, shark specialist gave a fascinating presentation
  • Bastien and Sarah, responsible for care and welfare of the sharks invited people to a feeding session and explained how they look after their needs.
  • Everyone learnt something from the exhibition by 13 year old shark fan, Ondine Elliott
  • There were also  three more exhibitions on offer by :
    • Pascal Kobeh (on shark diversity)
    • Hélène Petit (on shark fishing)
    • Anthony Barberian (on the skin and teeth of sharks)
    • Rachel Campergue’s film, The sharks of Rangiroa, from legend to reality on “finning” (the wasteful practice of slicing off a shark’s fins and discarding the body at sea) in the South Pacific was also playing at the event.

In the final room of Seaquarium’s shark area there was an exhibit on finning reminding people of the serious message of European Shark Week. Two thirds of European shark species are threatened with extinction, largely due to our fishing practices here in Europe. Spain ranks fourth in the world for shark catch and is a dominant force in the formation of EU shark policies. European Shark Week is an opportunity for many different people to show their support for shark conservation and a stronger finning ban – sign the petition to ask Spanish Prime Minister Zapatero to lead and not hinder shark conservation.

Big thank you to all involved in the  events at the Seaquarium!

Find out more about European Shark Week events in France here.

Post by Nicole Aussedat – Shark Alliance France – nicole.aussedat@wanadoo.fr