A campaign with real bite
SHARK enthusiasts are being urged to help in the fight to ban shark finning by visiting their local BIAZA zoo or aquarium during European Shark Week.
The campaign which is being held from the 15th to the 23rd of October has been run for the past two years by members of the Shark Alliance in Europe to help raise awareness about shark conservation and secure the future health of shark populations.
The British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) is supporting the campaign and urging people across the country to do the same by visiting a BIAZA aquarium and adding their name to the Shark Alliance’s petition.
Dr Miranda Stevenson, Executive Director of BIAZA, said: “European Shark Week is an excellent opportunity not only to have a great day out at your local BIAZA aquarium, but to support a worthy campaign and help fight for the protection of sharks.
“We hope people will add their support by signing the petition and spreading the word via Facebook or Twitter. You can blog about it or put the petition up on your website and if you really want to help, write to your fisheries minister urging them to take action to protect sharks.”
Last year, 34,000 postcards and petition signatures were sent to Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and a majority of MEPs then signed a Written Declaration calling for a strengthened EU ban on shark finning requiring all sharks to be landed with their ‘fins naturally attached’.
However, many endangered shark species are still completely unprotected, and there are no limits on the main shark species targeted by EU boats. The campaign’s aim is to add to the number of voices demanding that policy makers secure the future health of shark populations. This year, the Shark Alliance is urging fisheries ministers to deliver proper protection for sharks from finning and overexploitation.
BIAZA members will be hosting a number of fun events throughout the week which visitors can get their teeth stuck into. Those visiting London Aquarium pay only £5 admission (instead of £14.50) during the week if they dress up as sharks and Galway Atlantaquaria visitors can have fun learning how sharks have evolved over 400 years during interactive workshops. The World Museum Liverpool Aquarium & Bug House is showing award-winning film The Shark Water for free and Dingle Oceanworld is planning a shark-related trail through the aquarium.
To find out what your nearest BIAZA aquarium is doing and help make a difference by showing you care about the future of sharks visit www.biaza.org.uk.
For more information about the campaign visit www.europeansharkweek.org.