The Shark-Free Marinas Initiative is a voyage, not a destination, and that was aptly demonstrated this month when a shark was mistakenly brought back to a newly adopted Shark-Free Marina in Bimini.
The handling of this fishing gaffe was first rate, using the misunderstanding by a few to educate many more as to the program and it's overall mandate.
As of today many more fishermen in the U.S and beyond are now aware of what the Shark-Free Marinas are.
The Shark-Free Marinas effort is a multi pronged program of education and and deterrence, and like the Marlin program that preceded it many years ago, it is a long term effort.
At stake are the hearts and minds of an entire generation of fishermen who still believe that sharks have no value, a fish unworthy of the status of a Marlin, or Swordfish.
That perception is changing, and the Shark-Free Marinas Initiative is there to help with the transition.
Will other marinas find themselves in similar situations?
Probably so in the short term, and that's where leadership like Guy Harvey's comes in. This weeks press release serves as a template for the industry, and re affirmation that we must change the perception of sharks within the fishing community.
Without a doubt few have managed to tap into the fishing community like Guy, and with his leadership we can slowly begin the long process of getting fishermen to treat sharks with the same protocols and respect as they do with billfish.
It's a voyage, not a destination.
Kudos to Guy Harvey and his team this week.
Patric Douglas CEO