What began as a conservation concept generated by the commercial shark diving industry, in reaction to gravid Tiger sharks being taken in the Bahamas for a few images and a pair of jaws, has, in the hands of a skilled and dedicated team - become a full blown reality.
Welcome to The Shark-Free Marina Initiative.
10.20.2010 — Beginning in October, the Shark-Free Marina Initiative will embark on itʼs largest membership campaign throughout the United States and the Bahamas in order to save sharks. Sharks are disappearing from our oceans at an alarming rate. Therefore, the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, The Humane Society of the United States, and various other organizations have teamed up with the Shark-Free Marina Initiative (SFMI) for a singular, historic purpose: to reduce worldwide shark mortality. SFMI certifies sport fishing and resort marinas as ʻShark-Freeʼ thereby prohibiting any shark from being landed at their dock. The SFMI team is being advised by Dr. Bob Hueter, Director of Shark Research at the Mote Marine Laboratory and John Le Coq, co-founder of Fishpond USA.
“SFMI works directly with the recreational and commercial fishing community to send a clear message,” says Luke Tipple, Managing Director and SFMI founder. “As shark populations are decimated on a global scale we as a species are obligated to pay attention and reduce our wasteful destruction of these incredibly important animals.”
Dr. Guy Harvey, Founder of the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, supports SFMI with more than just words.”We put our money where our mouth is,” says Dr. Harvey.”Our Big Game Fishing Marina is completely shark free. No caught sharks can be landed here.” Dr. John Grandy, senior vice president, The Humane Society of the United States, enthusiastically supports the SFMI campaign. According to Dr. Grandy: “Although shark finning and commercial fishing are responsible for the majority of worldwide shark mortality figures, this campaign to encourage hundreds of marinas to
go shark free can save tens of thousands of sharks each year and change perceptions about this much maligned creature.”
Some very important and influential celebrity spokespeople are also teaming up with SFMI. Fashion photographer and Americaʼs Next Top Model judge Nigel Barker feels strongly that we all have to speak out for sharks. “There are many good fishermen out there who respect the oceans and know that in order to preserve their way of life for future generations we all need to be more aware of our actions and the results they may cause.”
Slash, legendary guitarist and founding member of Guns & Roses and Velvet Revolver adds, “It is important to me as a father and concerned human being, that we do all we can to address the wasteful destruction of these amazing and important animals. We must ensure that sharks are around for future generations.”
Shark-Free Marinas has a message that is being heard worldwide. Tipple summarizes “Shark overfishing is a serious problem which threatens the very health of our oceans. Itʼs time to take a stand and set an example of sensible conservation that can be globally respected and repeated. There is a solution, and it starts at our marinas."
About The Humane Society of the United States
The Humane Society of the United States is the nationʼs largest animal protection organization – backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty -- On the web at humanesociety.org.
fishpond is a worldwide brand of products designed and manufactured for fishing and outdoor enthusiasts. fishpond was created with the philosophy that innovation, design and a responsibility towards the environment from which we draw our inspiration is critical to our success.