One of the most perplexing issues with modern shark conservation is regional and local government buy in. Too often rules and regulations that protect shark species take years of legislative process, time, money, and energy to adopt.
And all too often we see a watering down or outright reversals of conservation rules and regulations. Such was the case in Australia this week, where new laws governing the take of mako shark were overturned by government slight of hand and a shameless buckling to commercial fishing pressures.
That's why we developed and support the Shark Free Marinas Initiative as an effective method to bypass government while enacting shark conservation measures.
The SFMI works with direct source points of shark traffic creating a win-win with local marinas to request that sharks are not landed at their facilities.
The metrics are there. In the USA alone 400,000 sport caught sharks arrive at marinas each year (NOAA) With just 50% of marinas in the USA adopting the SFMI we could save 200,000 sharks a year. Over the planet many hundreds of thousands more while educating fishermen to catch and release ethics making a shark fishery sustainable, without any government buy in at all.
A case study for modern shark conservation and one that has already seen 70% of Fiji go Shark Free with the help of PADI Project Aware, Stuart Gow and others.